The DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals is a tough contest. Designed encourage researchers to create robots that can handle multiple difficult environments and tasks including breaching a door, turning a valve, and negotiating obstacles, many robots entered but only one won – DRC-HUBO from a joint team that included researchers from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Team KAIST from South Korea.
DRC-HUBO was a standard bi-pedal robot with a twist. It could move as slightly faster speeds than competitors and it had very finely tuned joints, allowing it to perform small maneuvers without failing or falling down. You can check out the course here and needless to say many of the required tasks would be difficult for a middle-schooler let alone a robotic humanoid.
Team KAIST won a $2 million grant. You can watch the robot turn a valve above and then please enjoy a cavalcade of falling robots below. Note that this will be the last time the robots will let you laugh at their folly. You have been warned.