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Grand Challenge Day

2004-03-13 17:08:50.375734+00 by Dan Lyke 6 comments

Happy Grand Challenge day. As of right now the Status Board shows Team DAD[Wiki] leading as still running at 6 miles, with Red Team and Sci Autonics II disabled at 7. And a bunch more still running.

[ related topics: Robotics Cool Technology ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2004-03-13 19:16:15.376333+00 by: Diane Reese [edit history]

FINALLY! www.grandchallenge.org appears to have just come back up: it cratered earlier today right after I installed the live tracking stuff -- right now, only 3 bots were still working: Team DAD (from Morgan Hill, with a Toyota truck base), Team TerraMax (from Oshkosh WI, with a mondo military truck base), and The Golem Group (without a website, but apparently affiliated somehow with CalTech). Most recent to become disabled was SciAutonics I: with what looked like a golf cart base, I wanted to see photos of it next to the TerraMax monster truck. I can't wait to see the aftermath of this: our school robotics team tried to hook in with the Team Overbot people from Redwood City (they qualified but decided they weren't ready to run the race), but things didn't work out. Maybe next year: I'm assuming there will be future challenges, nobody's going to take home the mil this year.

FLASH: Team DAD just became disabled. Bummer. We're down to 2.

Further flash: Team TerraMax, with the monster truck, is disabled and out. Never got past Mile 1. The Golem Group is still in it, but they've been at Mile 5 for quite some time now, either paused or experiencing problems of some sort.

FINAL FLASH: All 15 bots are either disabled or withdrawn. The race is over. The farthest any of the vehicles traveled was slightly over 7 miles. This is a daunting challenge, for sure, and shows we're not quite ready for prime time on this one yet. But we had to start somewhere, and this is just too exciting to get discouraged about!

#Comment Re: made: 2004-03-13 22:19:14.153103+00 by: TC

....Long Sigh..... they are all dead Jim


Well, this shows what a challenge this is. Part of my hubris flares up thinking I could could solve this (I always seem think I have the better mouse trap in mind) but it's my hope thate this challenge continues (I suspect it will despite todays failures).

I am guessing the failures were from programing specifically threat/object detection and avoidence. This stuff is trival in virtual worlds so I am very curious what were the failure points. Please (ANYONE) post any links to postmortems you come across.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-03-14 01:23:43.541412+00 by: Diane Reese [edit history]

Initial post-mortem data here: http://www.grandchallenge.org/gallery/news/BotUpdate.doc

I kinda like the image of that huge mega-truck, TerraMax, going *backwards* (shudder!). I'm glad each bot had a chase vehicle that kept tabs on it to keep it from running totally amok. (Kinda sad, though, that Team D.A.D. paused to allow a wrecker to get through to a competing dead bot, and then couldn't reacquire the route after restarting. That's really gotta hurt.)

(And now the final update data file has a little more detail.) ... Can't wait 'til '06!

#Comment Re: made: 2004-03-17 04:40:23.579317+00 by: other_todd

Can somebody tell me why the Blue Team withdrew? I was really impressed with both their gutsiness and their logic at putting a self-righting motorcycle in the race.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-03-17 14:43:36.923072+00 by: Dan Lyke

The tale I heard is that they lost a throttle servo and couldn't get a replacement. But in a moment of "what the heck, nobody else has made it very far", they fired it up and pushed it toward the starting line, only to realize that they'd forgotten to flick the switch that turned on some super-ultra-critical balance device, and just after it was officially on the course it fell over.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-03-17 19:09:39.620198+00 by: Dan Lyke


Even more disappointing was The Blue Team: their "Ghost Rider" motorcycle fell to the ground three feet from the starting gate. The motorcycle's active stability control has a disable switch so that it can be loaded or moved without struggling against its handler. In what will go down in history as the simplest and dumbest mistake in the history of the DARPA Grand Challenge, the handler forgot to activate the stability control before releasing the vehicle: without the robot guidance, it rode with all the grace of an unmanned bicycle down a hill.