DARPA program manager Gill Pratt announced details of the DARPA Robotics Challenge, or DRC, Finals today in a call with reporters.

Eleven teams that competed in last December’s DRC Trials in Florida are getting $1.5 million in DARPA funding to continue to develop their machines for the Finals, which will take place June 5-6 at Fairplex, site of the LA County Fair, in Pomona, California.

The Finals will be harder than the Trials, with humanoid bots expected to complete eight tasks related to disaster response in succession, do it under an hour, and with with task-level autonomy. In other words, human operators will only be able to tell the bots to follow such high-level directions as “open that door,” or “walk up those stairs,” according to Pratt.

There will be a mystery task included among the eight, and teams sponsored by the European Union and the governments of Japan and South Korea will join the fray along with a to-be-determined number of self-sponsored teams, for a total of about two dozen competitors.

Read my report for Popular Mechanics: http://bit.ly/1mAi9R9