DARPA DARPA Subterranean Challenge

 

 

We participate in the DARPA competition as CTU-CRAS-NORLAB team selected for DARPA Subterranean or "SubT" Challenge. For sixty years, DARPA has held to a singular and enduring mission: to make pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies for national security with its annual budget: $3.427 billion!

 

 

The competition is now over!

We won the 2nd place in the Finals of the Virtual competition!

darpa_team_photo_1

 

 

and the 1st place among the non-funded teams in the
Urban & Tunnel Circuits!

urban_circuit_photo


About the competition:

The SubT Challenge is aimed to revolutionize how we operate in the underground domain. Current technologies fail to provide persistent situational awareness of the diverse subterranean operating environments, including tunnels, urban underground, and cave networks. Complex underground settings present significant challenges for military and civilian first responders. The hazards vary drastically across domains that can degrade or change over time and are often too high-risk for personnel to enter. The DARPA SubT Challenge seeks novel approaches to rapidly map, navigate, and search underground environments during time-sensitive disaster response scenarios. DARPA encourages participation from multidisciplinary teams from around the world to address the autonomy, perception, networking, and mobility technologies necessary to map subsurface networks in unpredictable conditions.

Team:

darpa_team_photo_2

CTU Martin Saska, Tomáš Báča, Vojtěch Spurný, Daniel Heřt, Matěj Petrlík, Matouš Vrba, Vít Krátký, Pavel Petráček, Yurii Stasinchuk, Tomáš Musil
UPENN Tomáš Svoboda (team lead), Karel Zimmermann, Tomáš Petříček, Martin Pecka, Vojtěch Šalanský, Teymur Azayev, Bedřich Himmel
Jan Faigl, Petr Čížek, Jan Bayer, Tomáš Rouček, Martin Zoula
News • Northern Robotics Laboratory Francois Pomerleau, Vladimír Kubelka, Maxime Vaidis, Dominic Baril

 

 

 

Publications

  1. Matej Petrlik, Pavel Petracek, Vit Kratky, Tomas Musil, Yurii Stasinchuk, Matous Vrba, Tomas Baca, Daniel Hert, Martin Pecka, Tomas Svoboda and Martin Saska. UAVs Beneath the Surface: Cooperative Autonomy for Subterranean Search and Rescue in DARPA SubT. preprint arXiv:2206.08185, 2022. PDF, DOI BibTeX

    @article{petrlik2022uavs,
    	author = "Petrlik, Matej and Petracek, Pavel and Kratky, Vit and Musil, Tomas and Stasinchuk, Yurii and Vrba, Matous and Baca, Tomas and Hert, Daniel and Pecka, Martin and Svoboda, Tomas and Saska, Martin",
    	title = "{UAVs Beneath the Surface: Cooperative Autonomy for Subterranean Search and Rescue in DARPA SubT}",
    	publisher = "arXiv",
    	journal = "preprint arXiv:2206.08185",
    	year = 2022,
    	doi = "10.48550/ARXIV.2206.08185",
    	pdf = "data/papers/petrlik2022fr.pdf",
    	note = "Submitted to Field Robotics Special Issue: DARPA Subterranean Challenge"
    }
    
  2. T Musil, Matej Petrlik and Martin Saska. SphereMap: Dynamic Multi-Layer Graph Structure for Rapid Safety-Aware UAV Planning. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 2022. PDF, DOI BibTeX

    @article{musil2022spheremap,
    	author = "T. Musil and Petrlik, Matej and Saska, Martin",
    	journal = "IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters",
    	title = "{SphereMap: Dynamic Multi-Layer Graph Structure for Rapid Safety-Aware UAV Planning}",
    	year = 2022,
    	pdf = "data/papers/musil2022ral.pdf",
    	doi = "10.1109/LRA.2022.3195194",
    	note = "preprint"
    }
    
  3. Kamak Ebadi, Lukas Bernreiter, Harel Biggie, Gavin Catt, Yun Chang, Arghya Chatterjee, Christopher E Denniston, Simon-Pierre Deschênes, Kyle Harlow, Shehryar Khattak, Lucas Nogueira, Matteo Palieri, Pavel Petráček, Matěj Petrlík, Andrzej Reinke, Vít Krátký, Shibo Zhao, Ali-akbar Agha-mohammadi, Kostas Alexis, Christoffer Heckman, Kasra Khosoussi, Navinda Kottege, Benjamin Morrell, Marco Hutter, Fred Pauling, François Pomerleau, Martin Saska, Sebastian Scherer, Roland Siegwart, Jason L Williams and Luca Carlone. Present and Future of SLAM in Extreme Underground Environments. preprint arXiv:2208.01787, 2022. PDF, DOI BibTeX

    @article{ebadi2022slam,
    	author = "Ebadi, Kamak and Bernreiter, Lukas and Biggie, Harel and Catt, Gavin and Chang, Yun and Chatterjee, Arghya and Denniston, Christopher E. and Deschênes, Simon-Pierre and Harlow, Kyle and Khattak, Shehryar and Nogueira, Lucas and Palieri, Matteo and Petráček, Pavel and Petrlík, Matěj and Reinke, Andrzej and Krátký, Vít and Zhao, Shibo and Agha-mohammadi, Ali-akbar and Alexis, Kostas and Heckman, Christoffer and Khosoussi, Kasra and Kottege, Navinda and Morrell, Benjamin and Hutter, Marco and Pauling, Fred and Pomerleau, François and Saska, Martin and Scherer, Sebastian and Siegwart, Roland and Williams, Jason L. and Carlone, Luca",
    	title = "Present and Future of SLAM in Extreme Underground Environments",
    	journal = "preprint arXiv:2208.01787",
    	year = 2022,
    	doi = "10.48550/ARXIV.2206.08185",
    	pdf = "https://arxiv.org/pdf/2208.01787",
    	note = "Submitted to Transactions on Robotics (T-RO)"
    }
    
  4. Pavel Petracek, Vit Kratky, Matej Petrlik, Tomas Baca, Radim Kratochvil and Martin Saska. Large-Scale Exploration of Cave Environments by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters 6(4):7596-7603, October 2021. PDF, DOI BibTeX

    @article{petracek2021caves,
    	author = "Petracek, Pavel and Kratky, Vit and Petrlik, Matej and Baca, Tomas and Kratochvil, Radim and Saska, Martin",
    	journal = "IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters",
    	title = "Large-Scale Exploration of Cave Environments by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles",
    	year = 2021,
    	volume = 6,
    	number = 4,
    	pages = "7596-7603",
    	month = "October",
    	doi = "10.1109/LRA.2021.3098304",
    	pdf = "data/papers/ral2021petracek/petracek2021caves.pdf"
    }
    
  5. Vít Krátký, Pavel Petráček, Tomáš Báča and Martin Saska. An autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle system for fast exploration of large complex indoor environments. Journal of Field Robotics 38(8):1036-1058, May 2021. URL PDF, DOI BibTeX

    @article{kratky2021exploration,
    	author = "Krátký, Vít and Petráček, Pavel and Báča, Tomáš and Saska, Martin",
    	title = "An autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle system for fast exploration of large complex indoor environments",
    	journal = "Journal of Field Robotics",
    	year = 2021,
    	month = "May",
    	volume = 38,
    	number = 8,
    	pages = "1036-1058",
    	keywords = "aerial robotics, exploration, extreme environments, GPS-denied operation, planning",
    	doi = "https://doi.org/10.1002/rob.22021",
    	pdf = "https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/rob.22021",
    	url = "https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/rob.22021"
    }
    
  6. M Petrlík, T Báča, D Heřt, M Vrba, T Krajník and M Saska. A Robust UAV System for Operations in a Constrained Environment. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RAL) 5(2):2169-2176, 2020. URL PDF, DOI BibTeX

    @article{petrlik2020ral,
    	author = "M. {Petrl\'{i}k} and T. {B\'{a}\v{c}a} and D. {He\v{r}t} and M. {Vrba} and T. {Krajn\'{i}k} and M. {Saska}",
    	journal = "IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RAL)",
    	title = "A Robust UAV System for Operations in a Constrained Environment",
    	volume = 5,
    	number = 2,
    	pages = "2169-2176",
    	year = 2020,
    	keywords = "Aerial Systems;Perception and Autonomy;Search and Rescue Robots;Robotics in Hazardous Fields",
    	doi = "10.1109/LRA.2020.2970980",
    	issn = "2377-3774",
    	url = "https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8979150",
    	pdf = "data/papers/petrlik2020ral.pdf"
    }
    
  7. T Rouček, M Pecka, P Čížek, T Petříček, J Bayer, V Šalanský, D Heřt, M Petrlík, T Báča, V Spurný, F Pomerleau, V Kubelka, J Faigl, K Zimmermann, M Saska, T Svoboda and T Krajník. DARPA Subterranean Challenge: Multi-robotic Exploration of Underground Environments. In Modelling and Simulation for Autonomous Systems. 2019, 274–290. URL PDF, DOI BibTeX

    @inproceedings{roucek2019mesas,
    	title = "DARPA Subterranean Challenge: Multi-robotic Exploration of Underground Environments",
    	author = "T. Rou\v{c}ek and M. Pecka and P. \v{C}\'{i}\v{z}ek and T. Pet\v{r}\'{i}\v{c}ek and J. Bayer and V. \v{S}alansk\'{y} and D. He\v{r}t and M. Petrl\'{i}k and T. B\'{a}\v{c}a and V. Spurn\'{y} and F. Pomerleau and V. Kubelka and J Faigl and K. Zimmermann and M. Saska and T. Svoboda and T. Krajn\'{i}k",
    	booktitle = "Modelling and Simulation for Autonomous Systems",
    	year = 2019,
    	pages = "274--290",
    	isbn = "978-3-030-43890-6",
    	doi = "10.1007/978-3-030-43890-6_22",
    	url = "https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-43890-6_22",
    	pdf = "data/papers/mesas2019darpa.pdf"
    }
    

 


Competition

DARPA SubT Final Event - 9/2021

As a part of the CTU-CRAS-NORLAB team, we have participated in both the systems and virtual tracks of the DARPA Subterranean challenge, which was organized in September 2022 in Louiseville Megacavern, KY, USA. Our team scored the 2nd position in the virtual competition and 6th place in the systems track. Our efforts brought $500 000 of prize money.

 


DARPA SubT Cave Circuit - 10/2020

As a part of the CTU-CRAS-NORLAB team, we have participated in the virtual competition this time (unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the organizers to cancel the system's track of Cave Circuit). We are eagerly awaiting the results of the virtual challenge scheduled for the end of October, 2020.
 

However, we did not postpone our research and we set the feet and the propellers of our robots into the Býčí skála (cave system in the southern part of Moravian Karst, Czech Republic). See the video below showing our progress in preparation for the final round of the DARPA SubT competition.

 


DARPA SubT Urban Circuit - 2/2020: 1st place among self-funded teams, 3rd place in total

As a part of the CTU-CRAS-NORLAB team at the DARPA Subterranean Challenge, we have supported the achievements of Tunnel Circuit by winning the 1st place among self-funded teams and secured 3rd place overall. The team brought home a $500 000 prize. Pictures from the preparations and from the competition itself are publicly available within Google Photos album.

 

 

DARPA SubT Tunnel Circuit - 8/2019: 1st place among self-funded teams, 3rd place in total

As a part of the CTU-CRAS team at the DARPA Subterranean Challenge, we have achieved 1st place among self-funded teams, and secured a 3rd place overall. The team brough home a $200 000 prize. Our great achievement has been shown during the main news sequence broadcast by Česká televize. The competition was motivated by creation of the search and rescue system, that will be deployed during a mine accident.

 

 
 
 
 

Pictures taken during the DARPA Tunnel Circuit


DARPA SubT Integration Exercise (STIX) - 4/2019

During the first round of the competition in a real gold mine in Rocky Mountains close to Denver, USA, our team achieved a valuable result. According to our information, our drones in total came through the longest overall distance from all competitors. Our team achieved the highest scoring from all teams in our group (results of teams from other groups are confidential), which gives us a great chance for the final round of tunnel circuit challenge being held in research mine near Pittsburgh, USA, in 8/2019.

 

 

Pictures taken during the first DARPA STIX

 

expo2020

The DARPA MRSX500 drone was

at EXPO2020 in Dubai

darpaatexpo

 


Media coverage of our DARPA SubT Challenge participation:

Stříbro a půl milionu dolarů. Robotici ČVUT opět uspěli na „olympiádě“ Forbes [Czech]
Roboti na ČVUT (čas 4:47) Česká televize [Czech]
DARPA international robotics challenge won by University of Nevada, Reno team CarsonNow [English]
V americké Mega Cavern skončilo velké robotické klání DARPA SubT. Češi druzí ve virtuální soutěži VTM [Czech]
ČVUT skončilo druhé a šesté v robotické soutěži amerického ministerstva obrany Lupa.cz [Czech]
Your Guide to the DARPA SubT Finals: Meet the Teams IEEE Spectrum [English]
V obří jeskyni v americkém Kentucky začíná olympiáda robotů. Češi vsadili na robopsy Aktuálně.cz [Czech]
Vědci z FEL ČVUT získali prestižní grant od americké agentury DARPA Česká televize (Studio 6) [Czech]
Čeští experti získali 1,5 milionu dolarů od DARPA na vývoj dronů. Nakoupí psoboty Spot Česká televize [Czech]
Výzkumníci z ČVUT získali 1,5 milionu dolarů od americké agentury DARPA na další vývoj autonomních robotů Věda a výzkum [Czech]
Vědce z ČVUT dotuje americká armádní agentura. Vyvíjejí autonomní záchranné roboty e15 [Czech]
Výzkumníci z Fakulty elektrotechnické ČVUT získali 1,5 milionu dolarů od americké agentury DARPA na další vývoj autonomních robotů Armádní noviny [Czech]
Teams Coordinated Robotics, BARCS, and Dynamo On Top in DARPA Subterranean Challenge Cave Circuit Virtual Competition DARPA [English]
Naši vědci v jeskyni Býčí skála zkouší roboty, kteří najdou zavalené lidi i věci Katedra kybernetiky FEL ČVUT [Czech]
Naše drony a pozemní roboty budou zkoumat jeskynní komplex Býčí skála Katedra kybernetiky FEL ČVUT [Czech]
Úspěch robotů a dronů ČVUT v soutěži ministerstva obrany USA Student HW [Czech]
Naši robotici vyhráli světovou soutěž DARPA Subterranean Challenge Urban Circuit mezi nesponzorovanými týmy a obsadili celkově 3. místo FEL ČVUT [Czech]
DARPA Sub-T CRAS FEE CTU [English]
Drony z ČVUT v týdnu zvítězily v Abú Zabí i USA. Naši vědci patří ke světové špičce Živě.cz [Czech]
Robots and their masters take over nuclear plant for DARPA’s Subterranean Challenge GeekWire [English]
CTU-CRAS-NORLAB earned the highest score among self-funded teams and the $500,000 prize DARPA [English]
Martin Pecka, Karel Zimmermann (ČVUT): V soutěži DARPA jsme uspěli, protože jsme nebyli líní trénovat Lupa.cz [Czech]