DARPA is poised to launch a new Grand Challenge for a humanoid robot, according to robotics insiders — and the result could be a souped-up metal soldier running alongside BigDog, driving an ATV, unlocking doors and clearing a path to safety for its human counterparts. There’s no official agency announcement yet, but robotics companies heard all about it at a recent industry day.
How quickly can an organically grown network of manhunters find five fugitives in five different countries? Later this month, the U.S. State Department aims to find out. The Tag Challenge will pay $5,000 to the people who find all of them first.
Google’s self-driving cars aren’t even close to being commercially available, but that doesn’t mean the company isn’t paving the way for their eventual rollout. Google is lobbying for legislation in Nevada that would make that state the first in which their cars could legally be driven on public roads, the NYT reports.
back to October 8, 2005: Stanford Racing Team's Stanley—a
tweaked VW Touareg with robotic innards—kicks up a cloud of
triumphal dust as it crosses the finish line at the DARPA Grand
Challenge in Primm, Nevada. Stanley was the first of four unmanned
vehicles that day to complete a 132-mile desert course replete with
rocks, treacherous inclines, and cliff-side hairpin turns. Though
Stanford's team grabbed the $2 million top prize, the event
represented a collective victory for autonomous vehicle developers.
After Stanley and its cohorts proved their mettle, self-driving cars
started to seem less like a Jetsons-inspired pipe dream and more like
the automotive wave of the future.
is upping the real-world ante with this year's Urban Challenge, held
in Victorville, Calif. The field of 11 robotic finalists won't just
need to steer, turn, and brake successfully to navigate the 60-mile
course; they'll also have to obey traffic laws and signals, negotiate
merges on lane-marked roads, and carry out simulated battlefield
supply missions. The race organizers' immediate objectives are
military—Congress has pledged to replace one-third of its
operational ground fleet with autonomous vehicles by 2015—but if
this year's entrants can pull off bravura performances, the civilian
implications will be enormous. Robotics engineers envision a new
generation of computerized cars that will redefine the term
autopilot, ferrying passengers unassisted from point A to point
B, maintaining ideal speed at all times, and braking for dogs and
bikes faster than any human driver ever could.
first vehicle to complete the course will win $2 million, and second-
and third-place finishers will bank $1 million and $500,000
respectively. Flag fall will take place at 8 am Pacific time
tomorrow—stay tuned for up-to-the-minute live coverage of the race.—Elizabeth Svoboda
An accident-free future is a matter of connecting the dots between todayâ€™s cutting-edge technologies
By Preston LernerPosted 06.01.2006 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Blinding rain. Careening traffic. Distracted drivers. There are lots of reasons why car crashes are America's leading cause of accidental death. And one way that most accidents could be prevented: with cars that predict a coming collision-and take action to stop it.
He's making a car so smart it drives itself. Someday we may all travel that way.
By Rena Marie PacellaPosted 10.08.2005 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Sebastian Thrun isn't watching the road when his driverless Volkswagen SUV veers off-course and heads for a 50-foot precipice. He's in the backseat looking at a laptop that's tracking the car's brain, which consists of seven Pentium processors. When he feels the car swerve abruptly to the left, Thrun looks up, pushes aside a bundle of cables blocking his view, and realizes that his car is about to pull a Thelma and Louise.
The Red Team is the odds-on favorite, as much for its charismatic, no-excuses leader as for its strong showing last year
By Elizabeth SvobodaPosted 10.07.2005 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
In this, the fifth of a series, Popular Science profiles one of the favored teams competing to win the Darpa Grand Challenge autonomous-vehicle race, which will take place on Saturday, October 8, near Primm, Nevada. Today we look at the Red Team's next-generation Hummer, which features a sophisticated system of integrated sensors. Stay tuned to popsci.comfor more previews throughout the week and for minute-by-minute videos and updates on race day.
Redundancy is key for Stanford University's team. Its vehicle's brain contains six networked Pentiums that hold multiple copies of all the software
By Elizabeth SvobodaPosted 10.06.2005 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
In this, the fourth of a series, Popular Science profiles one of the favored teams competing to win the Darpa Grand Challenge autonomous-vehicle race, which will take place on Saturday, October 8, near Primm, Nevada. Today we look at Stanford's entry, affectionately dubbed Stanley, which is designed to automatically choose the best route. Stay tuned to popsci.com for more previews throughout the week and for minute-by-minute videos and updates on race day.
This student team is running its own private competition: It's entering two vehicles, each programmed to act quite differently
By Elizabeth SvobodaPosted 10.05.2005 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
In this, the fourth of a series, Popular Science profiles one of the favored teams competing to win the Darpa Grand Challenge autonomous-vehicle race, which will take place on Saturday, October 8, near Primm, Nevada. Today we look at the Virginia Tech team's two entries, each of which takes a different approach to the problem. Stay tuned to popsci.com for more previews throughout the week and for minute-by-minute videos and updates on race day.