Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Robotics Hardware

DARPA Grand Challenge Finalists Announced 129

Posted by Zonk
from the we-who-may-be-about-to-die-salute-you dept.
Xerotope writes "DARPA announced today the 23 finalists[pdf warning] of the DARPA Grand Challenge at the closing ceremonies of the National Qualifying Event. Carnegie Mellon University's Red Team will start on Saturday with the first and third positions, with 'H1ghlander' taking the pole position and 'Sandstorm' following 10 minutes later. Stanford's 'Stanley' will start second. Of the 43 semi-finalists, 23 robots managed to finish the 2.2 mile course at least once. 5 robots (Stanford, Red Team, Red Team Too, Axion Racing, and Team Teramax) completed all of their runs. CMU's 'H1ghlander' and 'Sandstorm' finished the four runs with an average time of 10 minutes, 20 seconds each. Stanford's Stanley average time was 10:43."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

DARPA Grand Challenge Finalists Announced

Comments Filter:
  • And you have a sentient robot car. But you gotta make a cyberthalamus first.
  • by digitaldc (879047) on Thursday October 06, 2005 @10:33AM (#13730657)
    The question is...Will this technology be used primarily for unmanned military weapons? Or, will it be used in a more gentile fashion to explore hostile environments such as the Moon, Mars and the other planets?
    Let's hope this technology will be used to advance our understanding of our planet and the universe.
    • The answer to what use they will put this to: Whatever they can get away with.
    • Actually, I think the real question is:

      "How long until the UN and EU assert control over all of these inventions...and expect the United States to manufacture them for free, under the banner of human rights?"

      That's what I wonder...
    • Um DARPA... hmmmm...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 06, 2005 @10:48AM (#13730866)
      Well golly, since the whole thing is sponsored by DARPA, an agency of the US Department of Defense, I think they'll use this technology to ^(80948Q#4NO CARRIER
    • by SpyPlane (733043) on Thursday October 06, 2005 @10:57AM (#13730988)
      I don't know about these being used as unmanned 'weapons', but certainly the military will use them for transport vehicles. The real reason for this competition was to create technology that would save lives. This is even more appropriate now that a majority of deaths over in Iraq are due to road side bombs. Right now, weapon control systems will still have a human somewhere in the loop.

      • the seamy side [machinedesign.com].

        Note: BERSERKER [berserker.com] is a registered trademark of Fred Saberhagen and can not be used without permission.
      • I don't know about these being used as unmanned 'weapons', but certainly the military will use them for transport vehicles. The real reason for this competition was to create technology that would save lives. This is even more appropriate now that a majority of deaths over in Iraq are due to road side bombs.

        Trouble is, once this technology becomes widespread, the bombs aren't going to be just roadside, they'll be driving themselves right up to you. Imagine the damage a swarm of autonomous vehicles could d

        • Obviously you haven't been watching the actual competition. All you need to do to stop these things is set some traffic cones out. Or, worse, cast ominous shadows along the ground.

          Seriously though, I suspect that if autonomous bombs come about, landmines will come back in style.

          • Obviously you haven't been watching the actual competition. All you need to do to stop these things is set some traffic cones out. Or, worse, cast ominous shadows along the ground.

            Obviously, you've been living in a cave for the past, oh, 200 years, to not have noticed that when man (specifically Western Man, which now encompasses Japan, South Korea, Taiwan & soon India) puts his mind to technology, it invariably gets faster, better & all around more capable.

            Seriously though, I suspect that if autono
            • Obviously, you've been living in a cave for the past, oh, 200 years, to not have noticed that when man (specifically Western Man, which now encompasses Japan, South Korea, Taiwan & soon India) puts his mind to technology, it invariably gets faster, better & all around more capable.
              Personally, I'm curious as to whether, by the time that level of technological excellence comes along, it won't be decided that humans are much cheaper to put in than the robots. There was a sci-fi story along those line
            • Obviously, you've been living in a cave for the past, oh, 200 years, to not have noticed that when man (specifically Western Man, which now encompasses Japan, South Korea, Taiwan & soon India) puts his mind to technology, it invariably gets faster, better & all around more capable.
              Personally, I'm curious as to whether, by the time that level of technological excellence comes along, it won't be decided that humans are much cheaper to put in than the robots. There was a sci-fi story along those line
              • The end of the story was basically his superiors realizing that, instead of losing these hideously expensive computers, they could simply put a human in each bomb to use math to guide it to its destination. After all, human life is cheap and readily available. *wry grin* Probably written back in the day, when computers were the size of rooms and people assumed they'd get smaller, but would probably always be horribly expensive.

                Back in the day, Werner von Braun is alleged to have said

                Man is the best computer

          • All you need to do to stop these things is set some traffic cones out.

            Comment out a few lines of code and it won't.

            Robots have no innate self preservation. If you tell them to drive straight into a wall or off a cliff they will do so. Anything that they stop for is merely what the programmers decide warrants it.

            Yes, that makes them pretty dangerous in a war zone. I work with robotics all the time, and I would not get anywhere near a grand challenge entry when they are autonomous.
        • We might then need to develop counter-autonomous vehicles to protect ourselves from enemy autonomous vehicles


          Ok, so will our counter-autonomous vehicles be called Autobots or Decepticons?
      • technology that would save lives. This is even more appropriate now that a majority of deaths over in Iraq are due to road side bombs.

        No.

        A majority of U.S. casualties are due to road side bombs.
        The majority of deaths in Iraq is no that of U.S. forces, however.

        Maybe the technology will save soldier's lives, but it will mostly free up soldier's time to go shoot at those people you don't even count as "lives".
        • Sorry, I forgot to bookend my post with <america_is_evil> tags. I can't believe it. I was selfishly mentioning the saving of U.S. lives and only because we are talking about a U.S. Defense competition. Jesus, what was I thinking.

          <\america_is_evil>

          Next time you reply, can you at least bookend your post with <vagina> tags?

          • Sorry, I forgot to bookend my post with tags. I can't believe it. I was selfishly mentioning the saving of U.S. lives and only because we are talking about a U.S. Defense competition. Jesus, what was I thinking.

            You were replying to:

            The question is...Will this technology be used primarily for unmanned military weapons? Or, will it be used in a more gentile fashion to explore hostile environments such as the Moon, Mars and the other planets?

            With an attempt to pass off this military technology as a lifesav

        • The majority of deaths in Iraq is no that of U.S. forces, however.

          And its not due to US forces killing them either. It's Iraq's "free" army blowing up its own civilians. How will a robotic convoy make that worse again?
      • Just like the a-bomb.

        Manhattan project scientist: "but we never thought they'd use it..."

        Funking dipsticks.
      • Ironically, the desert environment, and the length of the course is eerily similar to a trip between Kuwait City and Baghdad.
    • by Have Blue (616) on Thursday October 06, 2005 @10:58AM (#13730999) Homepage
      Hopefully it will go into the scientific community and then onto the open market, where it can be used by any party for any purpose.
      • Yeah, you could do pretty interesting things with it.

        Combine it with a rental system, for instance -- and have it meet you at your doorstep and drive you to your destination. And then drive itself back to to wherever it next needs to be.

        One could also see it being useful for the elderly -- those with poor eyesight or reflexes, and who don't want to have to depend on somebody else to drive them. Ditto for others not able to drive themselves. Maybe you won't need designated drivers anymore.

        Theoretically, a
        • Theoretically, an autonomous vehicle should be able to pick up one's kids and drive them elsewhere if it's scheduled (time and location) and the parents are both busy, but I have my doubts as to whether this would be a good thing to do.

          I can see a movie around the idea of someone reprogramming people's cars (yay bluetooth hacks!) to deliver their children to a sweatshop: it's got everything, fear of technology, the opportunity for some wicked robot car chase scenes ...
          • I suppose, although what I had in mind was more the social effects -- as in, what sort of message does it send to your kids to say "Hey, I can't be bothered to pick you up, so I'll just send the car"? What is the value of the (now missing) human interaction?

            'course, I grew up in a more traditional nuclear family with one parent as wage earner and the other taking care of the kids. Maybe more modern kids would be fine with it, or even think of it as cool.
    • by John Jorsett (171560) on Thursday October 06, 2005 @11:00AM (#13731027)
      The answer of course is that, once autonomous vehicles are possible and proven, the door is open to any use. The military will use them to deliver supplies, and so will relief organizations. Private companies will use them to transport materials for, for example, the building of remote pipelines or roads. Ranchers will use them to patrol the boundaries of their acreage. Security companies will employ autonomous vehicles to keep an eye on the perimeters of land they're guarding. Universities will use them to explore the arctic, antarctic, and other hostile environments. Radical nutjobs will use them to deliver deadly payloads instead of using human beings. And there will be a host of applications that we haven't even thought of yet.
    • "more gentile fashion"

      Wait a second. "Gentile"? Like, as in, non-Jewish?
    • by Zathrus (232140) on Thursday October 06, 2005 @11:10AM (#13731153) Homepage
      Will this technology be used primarily for unmanned military weapons?

      This phase is intentionally designed for developing unmanned transport vehicles for use in low/no traffic, rugged areas. Think resupply and medivac. That alone would vastly reduce support overhead and threat to support troops (who generally aren't wandering around in heavily armored vehicles like front line troops).

      It's not designed for use as a weapons platform (there is no ability to determine threats or potential targets), nor for usage on other planets -- all of the vehicles make use of GPS to some degree (they can operate without, but are handicapped) and we don't exactly have constellations of sats flying around any other stellar bodies.

      The military isn't particularly interested in completely autonomous weapon systems -- it's too damn dangerous to your own people. The last thing you need is an autonomous anti-tank or anti-infantry mis-identifying your own (or your allies) weapons/troops as targets and eliminating them. We have enough friendly fire problems with humans at the controls -- and robots are far, far behind humans when it comes to properly identifying things.

      There's plenty of civilian uses too -- another reply already mentioned a good number of them.
      • by Kozz (7764)

        This phase is intentionally designed for developing unmanned transport vehicles for use in low/no traffic, rugged areas. Think resupply and medivac. That alone would vastly reduce support overhead and threat to support troops (who generally aren't wandering around in heavily armored vehicles like front line troops).

        Well, that sounds good, in theory. Now I admittedly don't know what sort of AI or algorithms these autonomous vehicles are using to navigate and make "decisions", but if you've got an unmann

        • if you've got an unmanned vehicle with supplies (read: easy target)

          You're thinking wrong, simply because what's in these supply vehicles isn't an interesting target, at least not in our current theaters of operations. You probably wouldn't want to have them transport ammo (although, really, if you just transported bullets and clips w/o guns then they'd be useless -- the insurgents use AK-47s by and large, which use drastically different ammo from M16s), but transporting food, water, fuel, mail, medical supp
          • Wow. I mean, WOW.

            the insurgents use AK-47s by and large, which use drastically different ammo from M16s

            True, but that is because of the availability of AK47s and the ammo for them, not because nasty terrorist hands are burned by the righteous grips of the M-16. In the very worst case ammo makes a handy ingredient in jury rigged bombs.

            And very little of that is desirous to an insurgent, who generally doesn't think in terms of cutting off a supply train.

            Yes, those terrorists are so damn stupid they don'

            • because nasty terrorist hands are burned by the righteous grips of the M-16

              Yes, because I implied that. Note that I said that you wouldn't want to ship the guns as well.

              And yes, you could use the ammo in jury rigged bombs... but there's not much in a casing, or even a clip. It's a horrendously inefficient way to make an explosive. There are household chemicals you can combine to have far more explosive power in far less space.

              The stuff you don't want them getting are the bombs, artillary shells, tank shells
              • The medical supplies may very well be needed (especially US military grade ones), but they're generally not in dire need of food or water. Not enough to expend the kind of resources required to stop a convoy.

                Except that we just established that mechanized convoys would be much easier to stop, because they don't have human drivers and don't have armed escorts. And, of course, stopping a convoy not only means more supplies for you, it means less for your enemy. And you're drastically over-estimating the res

            • True, but that is because of the availability of AK47s and the ammo for them, not because nasty terrorist hands are burned by the righteous grips of the M-16. In the very worst case ammo makes a handy ingredient in jury rigged bombs.

              Well actually they are pretty much useless. Few people know how to maintain an M-16 in battlefield conditions, so most of them would foul quickly. Go look at Vietnam to see that happening to US troops when they were first introduced. The AK-47 is heavier, less accurate, and w
          • But what if it's not insurgents? What if it's just hungry locals? Or folks who want to steal stuff for sale on the grey market?

            The essential problem is not "Why would you want to stop an autonomous vehicle?" (I can think of plenty of reasons why people *would* want to stop them no matter what they're carrying, and yet not be 'insurgents'). It's "What does the vehicle do if it's stopped, and how does this impact it's mission?".

            Not thinking these things through leads to a typical failure of imagination that g
            • You're forgetting the locals thinking: "What if this vehicle doesn't stop when I get in front of it, and how might that impact me?"

              I sure as hell wouldn't get near this vehicle [terramax.com] if I knew there was no intelligent human driver in it.
              • Not really. The question was "What does the vehicle do if it's stopped, and how does this impact it's mission?". The obstacles could be anything from people to wooden pallets coated in silver foil, raised vertically (the sensors would probably see that as a very solid wall). But it doesn't matter. The problem is the vehicle *must* have sensors to stop it from driving into things that it can't beat (cliff faces, large buildings, concrete bollards, etc).

                So what happens once the vehicle is coralled? And how do
        • Rather than loot the vehicle, why not put the bombs on it instead of on the roadside? That way there will definately be troops around at some point and even if they defuse the bomb before it goes off, it lessens the usefulness of the automated supply convoy - instead of having bombs on the roadside, now they're brought into the base by friendly vehicles.
          • Rather than loot the vehicle, why not put the bombs on it instead of on the roadside? That way there will definately be troops around at some point and even if they defuse the bomb before it goes off, it lessens the usefulness of the automated supply convoy - instead of having bombs on the roadside, now they're brought into the base by friendly vehicles.

            You're assuming an autmoated convoy would not be gaurded by real people. I could see a use for this in freeing up guys that drive the straight supply tr
          • That's true. In fact there are already training manuals [imdb.com] available on the Internet.
        • I'd imagine a vehicle like this would probably stop cold if surrounded (360 degrees of obstacles) by other vehicles, at which point the abductees could take what's inside, and leave.

          Thing is, these autonomous vehicles will probably be transmitting video and position data back to base in realtime. If something like that happened, they could probably just send in a fast-response team or track the abductors' vehicles via satellite. A short while later, you have N fewer potential abductors.
      • It's not designed for use as a weapons platform (there is no ability to determine threats or potential targets), nor for usage on other planets -- all of the vehicles make use of GPS to some degree (they can operate without, but are handicapped) and we don't exactly have constellations of sats flying around any other stellar bodies.

        Not yet anyway: Red Planet Wayfinder: A GPS System for Mars [space.com]. Don't think these guys (meaning the current US administration) aren't going to weaponize everything they can get the

      • The military isn't particularly interested in completely autonomous weapon systems -- it's too damn dangerous to your own people. The last thing you need is an autonomous anti-tank or anti-infantry mis-identifying your own (or your allies) weapons/troops as targets and eliminating them

        A humanoid machine is holding a massive battle rifle. It looks like a CHROME SKELETON... a high-tech Death figure. It is the endoskeleton of a Series 800 Terminator. Its glowing red eyes compassionlessly swe
    • "The question is...Will this technology be used primarily for unmanned military weapons? Or, will it be used in a more gentile fashion to explore hostile environments such as the Moon, Mars and the other planets?"

      Actually, I think most uses will be for gentile purposes; unless the Israeli's get involved. :-)
    • will it be used in a more gentile fashion

      Jews want to put robots into space?
    • DARPA is hoping to fulfill the Congressional mandate that "1/3rd of all military ground support vehicles be autonomous" by 2015.

      But they have a habit of taking technology developed for one purpose and integrating that technology with weaponry. The Predator/Hellfire combo is a good example.
    • If there was some way for NASA scientists to acquire and expand upon this unmanned vehicle technology, it would be very interesting if there was some way to send an unmanned Hummer/Truck to the Moon.
      Equipped with a full array of IMAX, video and picture cameras (w/mult. backups,) it would photograph and transmit Moon exploration data in real-time. Control it by remote, and have it run on solar energy. You would basically just get it on the Moon and then drive the thing until it completely fails or malfun
  • Ghost Rider (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 06, 2005 @10:34AM (#13730686)
    Too bad Ghost Rider did not make it. :( Check it out http://www.ghostriderrobot.com/ [ghostriderrobot.com]
    • Re:Ghost Rider (Score:2, Interesting)

      by MatD (895409)

      While I had hoped that it would make it, those hopes weren't very high. Using a two wheeeled vehicle instead of a four wheel vehicle just adds needless compilications to the whole thing. A four (or three) wheeled vehicle can stop where it is while it tries to determine terrain etc. A two wheeled vehicle has to keep moving. If it wants to go backwards, it has to circle around.

      Even though they didn't make it, hats off to 'em.

    • The only reason they're there to begin with is because they're so damn cool, there's no way they could realistically compete in the full race. However check out this video by the stanford team, about one minute in:

      http://cs.stanford.edu/group/roadrunner/video/NQE- Day-Three.wmv [stanford.edu]

      The motorcycle runs into a fence and falls over, then manages to right itself and keep going pushing through the fence. That's pretty damn amazing.
  • Go ENSCO! (Score:2, Informative)

    by JMUChrisF (188300)
    Go Team Ensco! Great job so far guys! Keep it up!

    www.teamensco.com
  • by fanblade (863089) on Thursday October 06, 2005 @10:57AM (#13730990) Journal
    If you're wondering what the DARPA Challenge is, you have to scroll to the bottom the their flash website [grandchallenge.org]:

    "The DARPA Grand Challenge is an unprecedented government effort to accelerate research and development in autonomous ground vehicles to help save American lives on the battlefield. DARPA will award $2 million to the autonomous (robotic) ground vehicle that can successfully navigate a challenging desert course of approximately 150 miles the fastest (in less than 10 hours). The vehicles must find and follow a prescribed course route, avoid obstacles, and negotiate turns, all while travelling at militarily-relevant rates of speed. The ground vehicles are fully autonomous - not remote-controlled."
    • Well, I think it's good to use robotic soldiers to spare soldiers' lives... but shouldn't the enemy have their own robotic soldiers, too?

      Otherwise, it won't be a war. It will be a masacre.
      • If you're on the winning side, you can call it whatever you want.
      • War isn't about fairness. You want to see the results of similar technology, fervor and doctrine? Try Antietam or Gettysburg and consider the results.

        One of the most reliable ways to prevent a war is to thoroughly convince an enemy that they have no chance whatsoever, and that they're better off -not- fighting. That should appeal to humanitarians.
        • Right. "We can fucking destroy you without even bothering to risk our own asses, so you better do whatever the hell we want."

          Us humanitarians just love the sound of that.
          • Considering that "humanitarians" frequently go on and on about how human life is paramount, that for a home owner to not take EVERY means to de-escalate a situation including running away from his own property, and that to defend yourself is to be judge, jury and executioner -- you'd think you WOULD love that.

            Because, of course, it doesn't matter if they burn your house and steal your property; you're not supposed to value your property over their life. Gosh, they might even be mentally ill and therefore i
          • You humanitarians should thank your lucky stars that the country that will have that power is a generally benevolent one. If we lived in a different world and it was the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany who had an unstoppable robot army things would be much, much worse.

            Cue replies about US "imperialism", noting the irony that if the US was actually interested in an empire, no one would be permitted to complain about it.
        • Yup, and weapons like the Gatling gun and atomic bombs will make war such a horrifying thing that no one will want to fight. There will always be people willing to throw themselves onto the bayonets so as to allow the fanatics behind them to attack. Just look at the Marines... (nothing actually against the Marines except that they are one crazy group of SOBs.)
      • Um, do you really think that the generals and decision-makers in *any* military organization are concerned about making sure the *other* side gets a "fair" shake?

        No - they don't, and they shouldn't. Their job is to equip their forces with the best tools to win the fight. Giving the other side access to the same tools would be self-defeating, no?
      • This wasn't done with the sword, the longbow, the cannon, the rifle, the machine gun, the tank, the airplane, the atomic bomb, or any other weapon ever invented. Why start here?
      • Yes, it's always a good idea in wartime to give your enemy the same combat tools and advantages you have.

        Seriously. Don't you WANT to be on the side that has the technological advantage? During war, I sure as hell do. I want every single advantage possible because war is war. It's not some polite disagreement between parties. What's the old saying, "All is fair in love and war"?

        • Yes, but when we reach the point of declaring war against other countries just because they happen to have the oil we "need"... oh yeah. Look what the shrub just said:

          http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051006/ap_on_go_pr_wh /bush_iraq [yahoo.com]

          "The militants believe that controlling one country will rally the Muslim masses, enabling them to overthrow all moderate governments in the region, and establish a radical Islamic empire that spans from Spain to Indonesia."

          Oh yes! The evil islamists! Let's crush them with our invinc
    • Anyone know what station/website will carry live coverage(video) of the race?
    • The entries this year are much more impressive than last. Last year DARPA had to make the qualifications easier in order to get enough vehicles to qualify for the race. Many bots had basic errors such as driving in circles when GPS was lost. Many failed from simple mechanical or software problems such as "forgot to turn off the go_slow_for_safety flag".

      This year the qualifications were more difficult, including a tunnel shielded with metal which was designed to test the ability to drive through a tunnel
  • by Douglas Simmons (628988) on Thursday October 06, 2005 @11:11AM (#13731164) Homepage
    These DARPA competitions (and those of other organizations) have got to be one of the best ways to come up with new and useful technology. Instead of rowboat races, the bright and motivated students of top universities (as well as other entusiasts) compete against each other for a battle of imagination and ingenuity to win not useless trophies but the thrill of having created something of potential practical use. Also, these competitions help boost the reputations of the colleges and universities as these often get media coverage, and if you've noticed, they've got their school's name on their autonomous submarines. And of course, DARPA gets some cheap R&D.
    • ...not useless trophies but the thrill of having created something of potential practical use.

      I'm sure the 2 million dollar prize doesn't have anything to do with it :P
  • I like that they added a short qualification round to weed out the weakest competitors. Last year they just arbitrarily decided who was going to be allowed to run the course.
    • Dig back a few months in the coverage of this. I'm pretty sure there was an arbitrary decision as to who would be allowed to attend this year as well. I seem to remember some noise back in the spring / early-summer.

      DARPA Announces 2005 Grand Challenge Semifinalists [slashdot.org]
      DARPA announced 40 semifinalists for the 2005 Grand Challenge autonomous robot race today. Notable remaining teams include the Carnegie Mellon University Red Team, Stanford Racing and a high school team, the Palos Verde Road Warriors. 78 te
  • Still too slow (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Krater76 (810350) on Thursday October 06, 2005 @11:34AM (#13731517) Journal
    I've said it before and I'll say it again: it's very difficult to cover 150 miles in 10 hours, obviously, you need a minimum speed of 15 mph. Their 2.2-mile semifinal course had a best average time of 10:20. That's still just under 13 mph. If the average time was 8 minutes or less I'd be excited.

    Don't get me wrong I'm very impressed with the results so far but it might just not be enough. Here's to hoping that they can make up some time elsewhere.
    • No. You need an average speed of at least 15 mph. Your speed can be 0 at times while you think about how to avoid an obsticle, or even negative if you decide you need to back up to go around one.
    • Re:Still too slow (Score:4, Informative)

      by not5150 (732114) on Thursday October 06, 2005 @11:57AM (#13731804)
      Due to the speed limits imposed at the qualifications, the vehicles could not get much better times.

      At the qualifications, there were mandatory speed limits imposed in most (if not all) the areas. In the RDDF file, there are the GPS coordinates and a speed limit number. For example, the straight away was 40mph while some of the obstacle strewn areas was 5 mph. The vehicles are capable of going faster and in fact a couple vehicles maxed out the 40 mph on the straight away.

      DARPA officials at the media press conference on Wednesday said that if they stick to the race speed limits, then they will finish in about 6 1/2 to 7 hours. In the real race, there are hard speed limits and then there are suggested limits (which a team can break). The suggested speed limits are in low obstacle areas, but are suggeseted so that the chase vehicle doesn't lose sight of the robot. Remember that this race is being held in the desert, so the dust kicked up could obscure it from view.

      Quirky fact, the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) mandates 25 mph or less in desert tortoise areas. You gotta love beauracracy.

      Some of this is explained in my article on tgdaily.com

      http://www.tgdaily.com/2005/10/06/darpa2005_featur e_update/ [tgdaily.com]
      • Re:Still too slow (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Creosote (33182) *
        Quirky fact, the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) mandates 25 mph or less in desert tortoise areas. You gotta love beauracracy.
        Right. Tortoises just don't make a satisfying enough splat when you hit them going under 50 mph.

        (If I ran things, that max speed would be more like 5 mph. But then I'm a Joshua tree-hugger.)

    • Re:Still too slow (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Krezel (91860)
      Speeds in the NQE event were limited by DARPA. They hand us a file containing waypoints, speeds, and track widths that we're limited to. Go too fast or wander outside the gates and they penalize you. The speeds at the NQE event are not representative of what you'll get to see once the robots are in the open desert.

      Highlander's record time was only 7 seconds slower than the "course ideal" that you could expect to get if you went exactly the speed limit all the way around. In fact, we were scolded by DARPA fo
    • Re:Still too slow (Score:3, Informative)

      by Mockingbird (51545)
      There were hard speed limits set on various sections of the qualifier course. The best performing vehicle, H1ghlander, executed the course within a few seconds of the best possible time given the constraints. Performance on the NQE course has about as much to do with race-success as grating cheese does with belly dancing.

      At least three of the vehicles that qualified for the race have performed 170 mile runs at race-success pace on mixed road/off-road courses that should simulate race conditions very close
  • by toocoolforschool (848274) on Thursday October 06, 2005 @11:39AM (#13731568)
    The Florida State entry did not complete the course. It was last seen heading towards Tijuana, Mexico, picking up hotties along the way.
  • is gonna kick Stanley's ass like Mrs. Roper on a bad shawl day! w00-w00t
  • DARPA Grand Challenge Finalists Announced
    EU, UN to Wrestle Internet Control From US
    Google Declares War on Microsoft

    ...is it just me, or are /. headlines sounding more and more like a wrestling Pay-Per-View?
  • Woohoo (Score:3, Funny)

    by thebdj (768618) on Thursday October 06, 2005 @01:17PM (#13732687) Journal
    Go Buckeyes. Making the finalists. Glad to see the engineers at my alma mater doing well...
  • I'm going to go out to Primm from Southern California.. if anyone is interested in going and/or carpooling, let me know!

    They are going to have grandstands, video monitors at various locations to show passing vehicles and when a vehicle finishes or is DQ'ed it will come back to the grandstands where you can check it out.
  • "You know what makes rockets fly? Funding." - The Right Stuff.

    What's really making this go is not new technology, but money. Most of the designs are quite straightforward. But nobody in the US has ever spent money at this rate in robotics research. CMU spent $3 million last year, and this year the total costs of their efforts were much higher. The major teams have direct engineering support, including on-site people, from major auto and aerospace companies. Huge field test and support operations ha

  • www.grandchallenge.org will have live tracking (dots moving on the screen) all day tomorrow, they will not be hosting any live video.

A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any other invention, with the possible exceptions of handguns and Tequilla. -- Mitch Ratcliffe

Working...