DARPA Asks Teens What A Robot Future Looks Like

Willyam Bradberry/Shutterstock.com

The agency has selected five winners from its high school film contest; their 5-minute videos offer visions of the social impact of robots.

The Defense Department’s cutting-edge tech team is thinking about the impact robots could have on society, and looking to an unlikely group for guidance: teenagers.

The Defense Advanced Research Program Agency has selected five winners from its film contest for high school students; the filmmakers are invited to attend DARPA’s robotics workshop in early June, and to participate in discussion panels about a potential co-existence with robots.

“DARPA wanted to hear from the generation that will be the first to grow up and live with a wide range of robotics technologies,” DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar said in a statement. “Their ideas about how robots might make a difference for society will help shape that future.”

The contest was meant to address topics such as "How will the growing use of robots change people’s lives and make a difference for society?" and "How do teens want robots to make a difference in the future?," according to DARPA's announcement.

DARPA plans to upload the winning videos, about 5-minutes each, on its YouTube Channel on June 7.

The winners were also asked to attend DARPA's Robotics Challenge, where about 20 teams plan to compete for more than $3.5 million in prizes; competing robots are designed to complete tasks currently performed by human emergency responders during humanitarian crises. 

Winners were:

  • Kristina Argao, Hagatna, Guam (Teammate: Riezzalyn Viray)
  • Ben Chrepta, Rochester, Minnesota (Teammate: Alden Giedraitis)
  • Hector Cruz, Cedar City, Utah
  • Shiloh Curtis, Santa Cruz, California
  • Atticus Jones, New York (Teammates: Kentaro Jones and Jigme Tinley)

(Image via Willyam Bradberry/ Shutterstock.com)