Flutterby™! : Congrats, Stanford Racing Team!

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Congrats, Stanford Racing Team!

2005-10-08 21:06:27.520777+00 by Diane Reese 5 comments

I am really pleased and excited to announce that the Stanford Racing Team has just become the first autonomous vehicle to complete the 132.2-mile DARPA Grand Challenge, in 7 hours 46 minutes (out of the 10 hours allowed). Looks at this point as if the CMU Red Team Too and CMU Red Team will also complete the course, but the SRT time is faster. What an exciting day for robotics!

SUNDAY UPDATE: Stanley, the Stanford vehicle, has been declared the winner, completing the course in an official time of just under 6 hours, 54 minutes. SRT will take the $2million prize back to Stanford with them. Three other vehicles completed the challenge within 10 hours: the two CMU vehicles, and Gray Team from Metairie LA, a sentimental crowd favorite comprising students and engineers some of whom lost their homes in the Katrina flooding. A fifth team, TerraMax from Oshkosh WI, completed the course also, although not within the 10 hours specified under contest rules.

Yo, Dan: I smell "something that ought to interest a 12-year-old and be eminently achieveable" here (and no, I don't mean the DARPA Grand Challenge necessarily: I mean BotBall, Lego robotics, FIRST robotics....)

[ related topics: Interactive Drama Coyote Grits Robotics Sports Lego Mindstorms Education ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2005-10-09 17:39:47.405672+00 by: Dan Lyke

You'd think it would interest a 12 year old, but the reaction around here was "It doesn't shoot anything? Boorrring."

#Comment Re: made: 2005-10-10 15:56:56.951534+00 by: meuon

That's the next step.. Autonomous off road vehicle with auto-targetting .50 cal machine gun and anti-tank/anything rocket lunher.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-10-10 16:21:41.063477+00 by: Diane Reese [edit history]

Quite likely, and it was DARPA which financed this competition, after all. But that's not the only application, thankfully.

It's unclear how the Pentagon plans to harness the technology used in the race for military applications. But Thrun said he wanted to design automated systems to make next-generation cars safer for everyone, not just the military.

"If it was only for the military, I wouldn't be here today," Thrun said.

EDIT: Here's a nice little overview of "Stanley", recorded pre-race.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-10-10 21:53:35.067872+00 by: meuon

Yeah, it'd also deliver medical supplies, food, or the vehicle itself. But robotic guns are more '12 year old'-ish, and also scarier for me personally aka 'The Terminator', Matrix... etc.. movie scenerios.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-10-11 17:28:07.632853+00 by: petronius

Anybody out here old enough to remember "Science Fiction Theater", a cheesy syndicated TV program from the mid 50s? One episode had people out in Remote, Arizona getting run down by a mysterious car. When the hero tracks it down it turns out to be a robotic car that can handle any terrain and can avoid crashing against any pursuit. The draweback is that its radar doesn't get adequate reflections from people, an oversite undoubtably to be corrected in release 1.5. In the meantime it runs over its creator, and the townsfolk have to track down the master control room to shut it down.

A word to the wise: look both ways.