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!

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



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 combat operations or 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.


CTU Martin Saska, Tomáš Báča, Vojtěch Spurný, Daniel Heřt, Matěj Petrlík, Matouš Vrba, Vít Krátký, Pavel Petráček
UPENN Tomáš Svoboda (team lead), Karel Zimmermann, Tomáš Petříček, Martin Pecka, Vojtěch Šalanský
Jan Faigl, Petr Čížek, Jan Bayer, Tomáš Rouček



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.


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

Call for participation in our team:

Multi-robot Systems group is seeking highly motivated students with strong interest in one or more of the following research areas related to the competition:

  • MAV control and stabilization

  • Motion planning and task allocation
  • Computer vision
  • Visual servoing

We require: C, C++ and/or Matlab programming skills, good study results, and good level of English. Experience with embedded programming, hardware and robotics is an advantage. Enthusiasts in aviation and models of multi-rotor helicopters welcome. 

We offer: work in young and ambitious team of master and PhD students, international experience in highly recognized competition among the best universities, guidance and expertise of respected scientists in the given fields including researchers from worldwide top MAV laboratory at UPENN, high-tech equipment, and scholarship for work beyond university duties.

Contact: Martin Saska