A prize of US$200,000 is being offered for the first robot that can successfully move 10 km (6.2 miles) within 10,000 seconds.
Sound easy? Well, to claim the “W” Prize the robot must also negotiate four sets of obstacles that would stand in the way of ordinary wheeled vehicles, but could be easily overcome by a pedestrian. The robot must also accomplish this task using no more than 10 kj per kg of machine mass – in other words, less energy than it would take for a human to do the same task.
The course the robots must navigate is designed to be economically replicable at most universities worldwide, so that entrants can compete for the Prize at the time and place of their choosing. The four sets of obstacles are to be arranged along a 100 meter track, which the robot must circuit 50 times to complete the total 10km course length.
The obstacles are as follows:
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