The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recently announced the Subterranean Challenge, which asks participants to develop systems that could help humans map, traverse, and search underground locations that are normally too difficult and dangerous to enter or explore.
"The DARPA Subterranean Challenge aims to provide previously unimaginable situational awareness capabilities for operations underground," says DARPA's Timothy Chung.
In addition, he notes the challenge aims to develop tools and methods of understanding what is below ground, enabling emergency responders to better help those in need.
Each competing team will have the option of pursuing one of two separate tracks: a Systems Track, in which they would develop hardware-based solutions for an actual underground course, or a Virtual Track, in which the team would develop software for a virtual course.
The winner of the Systems Track will receive a $2-million prize, and the Virtual Track winner will receive $750,000.
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