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Sole Source Intent Notice - Open-Source Robot SImulation Software for DARPA Robotics Challenge

Solicitation Number: DARPA-SN-12-34
Agency: Other Defense Agencies
Office: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Location: Contracts Management Office
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DARPA-SN-12-34
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Special Notice
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Added: Apr 12, 2012 8:37 pm
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Tactical Technology Office (TTO), intends to award a sole source contract to the Open Source Robotics Foundation, Inc., of Menlo Park, California. For the contract, the Open Source Robotics Foundation will develop an open-source robot simulation software system for use by the DARPA Robotics Challenge program. The effort will develop validated models of robots (kinematics, dynamics, and sensors) and field environments (three-dimensional surfaces, solids, and material properties). The effort will develop physics-based models of inertia, actuation, contact, and environment dynamics to simulate the robot's motion. The effort will make the simulation software available on an open-source basis, and will host the simulation so that participants in the DARPA Robotics Challenge program can access it freely.

To search for innovative approaches to provide this service, DARPA performed an informal market survey. Of the few existing candidate open-source robot simulators, the Open Source Robotics Foundation was deemed to be the sole viable supplier for providing the necessary open-source simulation software within the specified timeframe. The Open Source Robotics Foundation simulator, called Gazebo, simulates many robots and sensors, supports the ROS and Player robot control middleware, and maintains tutorials, documentation and an active user base. The technology underlying Gazebo supports many use cases including remote operation through a client-server architecture, customization via a flexible plugin interface, accurate physics simulation, and rapid setup through intuitive graphical and programmatic interfaces.

The proposed contract action is for supplies or services for which the Government intends to solicit and negotiate with only one source under authority of FAR 6.302-1 "Only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements." As the open-source robot simulation leader, the Open Source Robotics Foundation possesses unique knowledge and capabilities required to carry out the required research effort. No other source would be capable of satisfying the requirements for an affordable end-to-end solution necessary to meet the Government's needs.

This notice of intent is not a request for competitive proposals and no solicitation is currently available. However, interested parties may identify their interest and capability to respond to the requirement. Responses received within forty-five (45) days after date of publication of this notice will be considered by the Government. Information received will be considered solely for the purpose of determining whether to conduct a competitive procurement. A determination by the Government not to compete this proposed effort on a full and open basis is solely within the discretion of the Government. Interested parties may identify their interest and capability to meet the requirements by submitting a white paper and past performance data by no later than 28 May 2012 to The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Attn: Mr. Christopher Glista, Contracts Management Office (CMO), 3701 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203-1714 or via email to christopher.glista@darpa.mil. Questions shall be submitted to the above email address.
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3701 North Fairfax Drive
Arlington, Virginia 22203-1714
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