The United States military is offering a $2 million (around R16 million) to the first individual or team that creates a successful humanoid robot for military use.
The challenge is open to entrepreneurs, engineers, developers and inventors who can create a humanoid robot capable of walking on two legs and performing various tasks, which include driving vehicles and using tools.
The reward is sponsored by the U.S. Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, who says that the humanoid is not intended for battlefield use, but rather disaster-response scenarios that involve high risk situations.
“Robots undoubtedly capture the imagination, but that alone does not justify an investment in robotics,” said, Kaigham J. Gabriel, acting director of DARPA. “For robots to be useful to DoD they need to offer gains in either physical protection or productivity. The most successful and useful robots would do both via natural interaction with humans in shared environments.”
The challenge will run from October 2012 through to December 2014.