Polaris and Salvation Army, Partners at DARPA Robotics Challenge

December 20, 2013 - 1:16 PM EST
Kevin Smith
kevin.smith@uss.salvationarmy.org
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Polaris and Salvation Army, Partners at DARPA  Robotics Challenge

Polaris and The Salvation Army are showing the value of partnership while DARPA shows the advances in using Technology to help in times of disaster.  Many of the tools that are manufactured by Polaris are perfect for taking The Salvation Army closer to where the need is the greatest.  At the DARPA Robotics Challenge, Teams from around the world demonstrate diverse approaches and expertise while collaborating toward a common goal: improving robotics for disaster response. 

Recently in response and recovery efforts to Hurricane Sandy and the Oklahoma tornadoes, Polaris donated a number of off road support vehicles to assist The Salvation Army in disaster response.  Demonstrating this partnership while DARPA continues to find ways to support disaster response is a natural fit.

The units on display walk, crawl and roll. They take inspiration from humans and animals, and come in sizes tall and small, skinny and wide. They represent five countries around the world. They are the robots of the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) Trials, and they and their human operators have all been practicing very, very hard. (www.theroboticschallenge.org)

The teams scheduled to compete in the DRC Trials—taking place December 20-21 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla.—are a mix of government, academic and commercial organizations from around the globe. They vary from each other in many ways, such as team size and experience, focus on hardware and/or software, and the design and capabilities of their entries. What all teams share, however, is commitment to a common goal: to speed development of robots that could aid in response efforts after future natural and man-made disasters.

Kevin Smith, Director and Lance Rocks, Assistant Director of The Salvation Army, Emergency Disaster Services, Florida Division as representatives.  

"Its perfect to be in Homestead, Florida watching how robotics are being used to make disaster response more efficient and less dangerous for responders when conditions may be too dangerous."  said Lance Rocks.  "Homestead really was the starting point for modern day emergency management and seeing that robotics are now being intoduced into the response field here gets you excited.  Especially if the exponential growth is duplicated."

The Salvation Army is very grateful to Polaris for its support.  The Salvation Army is recognized because we serve at the time and place of the greatest need.  Polaris's products takes us even further, and that is critical for our relief.  Representatives from Polaris and The Salvation Army will be at the DARPA Challenge Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 

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