The United States is challenging every entrepreneur, engineer, developer and inventor to create the first military robot. The individual or team that creates a humanoid robot capable of walking on two legs and performing various tasks — driving vehicles and using tools — will be awarded $2 million by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The humanoid army isn’t intended for the battlefield, however; the military is interested in using robots for disaster-response scenarios in which robots will be able to assist service members in high-risk situations. “Robots undoubtedly capture the imagination, but that alone does not justify an investment in robotics,” said DARPA Acting Director, Kaigham J. Gabriel. “For robots to be useful to DoD they need to offer gains in either physical protection or productivity. The most successful and useful robots would do both via natural interaction with humans in shared environments.” The Robotics Challenge will begin in October 2012 and run through December 2014. Read on for DARPA’s press release.