Schaft is a Tokyo-based robotics company that won the DARPA Robotics Challenge. Schaft’s winning robot is intended for rescue missions and it won 27 out of 32 points. Florida-based IHMC Robotics won second place and Team Tartan Rescue of Carnegie Mellon University won third place. Eight of the top teams that participated in the challenge may receive as much as $1 million in funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Schaft’s humanoid robot is 5 feet tall and weighs around 209 pounds. It was able to walk with stability during the DARPA trial. The robot was also able to open doors and hold hoses. It can also cut away parts of a wall. Schaft lost points when a gust of wind blew a door out of the robot’s hand. The robot could not exit a vehicle after navigating a predetermined course.
Schaft is one out of several robotics companies that Google acquired in the last year. Google recently acquired Boston Dynamics, the company known for creating the Big Dog robot. Google did not disclose why they acquired the robotics companies, but we do know that Android founder Andy Rubin is spearheading a robotics-related project at the company.