October 2015

"As we are the only team to take part in the challenge with a legged robot, the competition has so far generated a great deal of practical insights and technical progress for us.

We believe that we prepared well for the first round, but almost immediately, we were confronted with the mechanical and electronic complexity of our platform when deployed in a highly realistic scenario rather than under laboratory conditions. We soon realized that platform robustness and safety are key objectives in the challenge, and ones which can easily outweigh a high level of agility and autonomy. We also learned that a walking platform can be much harder to remotely control than a wheeled system due to the lateral motion of its base body. This may cause the operator to input corrective commands, thereby inducing undesired motion behavior.

Despite our motivation to improve on these aspects, our positive results in fulfilling the task requirements and in autonomously completing complex missions has inspired us to focus on the mission design and feedback tools. We intend therefore to radically simplify the handling of our system for non-expert operators and to boost its appeal as a potential ready-to-market inspection robot."