The DARPA Robotics Challenge is a competition hosted by the US Department of Defense in Pomona, California. Twenty-four teams from around the world (about half from the U.S.) have built robots that must complete a number of tasks. The course is set up to simulate a disaster scenario not unlike the Fukushima nuclear disaster that occurred in Japan in 2011.
The teams that are controlling their robots are in a completely separate area without a clear line of sight to keep an eye on their bots. And much like a disaster scenario, there’s built in radio interference between the team and the robot, meaning that the bots must act somewhat autonomously when communications links go down.