UT and Texas A&M robotics team receive $1.5 mil grant

AUSTIN (KXAN) – The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University received a $1.5 million grant to participate in a robotics challenge.

The grant comes from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, which Governor Perry said the universities were awarded this money because the “investment has the potential to save lives through innovation in robotic technology that could assist in disaster responses.” The robotics challenge is an initiative by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to develop effective human responses to nuclear disasters.

UT and Texas A&M are part of Team Valkyrie and will enter the R5, led by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston. During the challenge, the robot will have to pass eight tasks involved in disaster recovery like opening doors, climbing a ladder, driving a utility vehicle, turning a valve, moving debris and navigating through a difficult landscape.

Teams selected to participate in the challenge were chosen by DARPA from all over the world. The final challenge will be in December 2015 and the winner will receive a $2 million cash prize.

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