Apparently my hunch about the recent humanoid being the standard platform for the DARPA Autonomous Robot Manipulation Software (ARM-S) program was spot-on! A new blog post on ROS.org confirms that this is the DARPA "ARM Robot" and that there is a public contest to name the robot. The blog post gives a few hardware details: "The 'ARM Robot' has two Barrett WAM arms, BarrettHands, 6-axis force torque sensors at the wrist, and pan-tilt head. For sensors, it has a color camera, SwissRanger depth camera, stereo camera, and microphone." The program winners are also enumerated: Carnegie Mellon University, HRL Laboratories, iRobot, NASA-Jet Propulsion Laboratory, SRI International and University of Southern California. Be sure to check out the video of the (now confirmed) unnamed DARPA ARM-S robot platform embedded below. Updated Sept. 1st, 2010: This robot was integrated / developed by RE2, a Carnegie Mellon spin-off located in Pittsburgh, PA that specializes in agile defense robotics with an emphasis on intelligent mobile manipulation platforms.
As I mentioned, SRI International is apparently looking for qualified applicants to work on this robot.
The DARPA ARM homepage has a few CAD drawings that give a better idea of the overall design:
Here is what the DARPA ARM homepage has to say about the program:
DARPA is introducing its Autonomous Robotic Manipulation (ARM) program. The goal of this 4 year, multi-track program is to develop software and hardware that allows an operator to control a robot which is able to autonomously manipulate, grasp and perform complicated tasks, given only high-level direction. Over the course of the program in the Software Track, funded performers will be developing algorithms that enables the DARPA robot to execute these numerous tasks. DARPA is also making an identical robot available for public use. Allowing anyone the opportunity to write software, test it in simulation, upload it to the actual system, and then watch, in real-time via the internet, as the DARPA robot executes the user's software. Teams involved in this Outreach Track will be able to compete and collaborate with other teams from around the country.
Updated Sept. 1st, 2010: InformationWeek just put up a press release that lists the winners of ARM's hardware track (ARM-H):
Teams working on the hardware for the program come from iRobot, Sandia National Laboratories, and SRI International, who are developing designs for new multi-finger hands. Development will focus on keeping costs low with high design quality, according to DARPA.