The Mini DRC event aims at providing a challenging environment for teleoperated robotics. Tele-operation is a mode of operation where a robot is controlled by a human-operated that is located in a room with an indirect line of sight of the playing field. This is different from remote-controlled robots, where the operator has a direct line of sight of the robot and its environment. Since fully autonomous robots are still a blue sky research dream, teleoperated robots, that can blend advantages of human perception and reasoning with robot-controlled motion is of great importance in avatar robots, rescue robots, and health robots.
In 2015, the Department of Defense of the United States through its advanced research department held a competition for teleoperated robots called the DARPA Robotics Challenge. In this challenge, a full-sized humanoid robot had to complete a series of tasks including driving an open cab truck, open and close valves, use power tools, and walk up a set of stairs. Many of these challenges are already part of the FIRA Sport (HuroCup) competition. The Mini DRC competition is a scaled-down version of the original DRC competition.
A single robot must first cross a set of obstacles. Afterward, the robot has to cross an obstacle parkour, uneven terrain, and climb a ladder. In between, there are several additional challenges that require the robot to complete common rescue tasks using simulated equipment: turn a valve on and off, enter and leave through a door, push a button, weld a joint on a pipe, and rescue a victim.