National Defense, July 29, 2019 – The military, law enforcement and search-and-rescue teams have different missions but face a common problem: operating underground. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, better known as DARPA, is about to kick off a competition aimed at furthering robotics technology to help them do their jobs.
The subterranean operating environment is multifaceted. For example, militant groups like the Islamic State and Hamas have built extensive networks of underground passageways to move fighters and protect themselves from aerial attack. Drug cartels are using tunnels to smuggle contraband into the United States from Mexico. A former Thai navy SEAL died last year while trying to deliver oxygen tanks to kids trapped inside a cave.