The article “Here Come the Underdogs of the Robot Olympics” by WIRED magazine profiles Kevin Knoedler, an underdog competitor in the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC). Knoedler is a solo competitor who has entered both the DRC and the DARPA Subterranean Challenge (SubT). In the DRC, he finished dead last in the real-world portion of the competition, but he won the “Most Robots per Person” superlative award. In SubT, he crashed all of his aerial drones but dominated the virtual competition, finishing first with more than twice as many points as the nearest competitor. Knoedler is an inspiration to other underdogs who are trying to make their mark in the world of robotics.
The article also discusses the DRC and SubT competitions, which are designed to push the boundaries of robotic technology. The DRC is a series of challenges that test robots’ ability to perform tasks in disaster-stricken environments. SubT is a series of challenges that test robots’ ability to navigate underground environments. Both competitions are highly competitive, and they have helped to advance the state of robotic technology.
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