This team, headed by two brothers, has developed a spinning, 64-laser array that finds the road even in fog and darkness
By Elizabeth SvobodaPosted 10.05.2005 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
In this, the second 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 Team DAD's Toyota truck, equipped with an innovative laser-based navigation system. Stay tuned to popsci.com for more previews throughout the week and for minute-by-minute videos and updates on race day.
Team DAD (Digital Auto Drive)
By Elizabeth SvobodaPosted 10.03.2005 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
In this, the first 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 Blue Team's autonomous motorcycle. Stay tuned to popsci.com for more previews throughout the week, and for minute-by-minute videos and updates on race day.
The Blue Team University of California at Berkeley and Texas A&M
If you thought being a scientist was a tame affair, check out these videos
By Emily Laber-WarrenPosted 09.12.2005 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Many of PopSci's Brilliant 10-scientists who are pushing the limits of their disciplines-labor in abstract realms, generating calculations, analyses and other intangibles. But a couple of them work very much in the here and now, even risking their own safety when necessary.
Maydianne Andrade, 35, a biologist at the University of Toronto, studies the mating habits of Australian redback spiders, and keeps hundreds of these poisonous critters in her lab. She and her colleagues made the following video, which shows a pair of redbacks in flagrante.
The Issue: Hollywood androids are dysfunctional human wannabes. Real AI researchers are devising something else
By Gregory MonePosted 07.12.2005 at 5:00 pm 0 Comments
Here’s something that engineers designing the next generation of
unmanned combat air vehicles may not have considered: A well-placed lightning strike could rewire the plane’s artificially intelligent (AI) brain, transforming the craft into an enemy of the state bent on destroying a major city. Absurd? Maybe. Good plot for a thriller? Evidently: It’s the source of the action in the new movie Stealth, in which an AI-controlled fighter jet turns evil.
It’s been a good year for roboticists, but the biggest challenges are still to come.
By Ed FinnPosted 09.26.2004 at 11:00 pm 0 Comments
This October Carnegie Mellon University will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its renowned Robotics Institute and welcome a few new members into its Robot Hall of Fame. The fact that two of this year’s inductees—Astroboy and C3PO—are imaginary is typical in a field that lingers somewhere between science and fiction. One of the ultimate goals for roboticists, a machine that’s as easy to talk to as a human, is still
By Preston LernerPosted 09.26.2004 at 9:20 pm 0 Comments
When racecar engineers dream of a perfect world, they don’t imagine Britney Spears disrobing from a Sparco fire suit. What they fantasize about is a universe without the prima donnas behind the steering wheels. "The driver is not your friend," says Kia Cammaerts, who creates racing simulations."Because unless he's [world champion] Michael Schumacher, all he's doing is slowing the car down." So would engineers ever attempt an automotive version of Deep Blue, the supercomputer that in 1997 humbled chess champ Garry Kasparov?
Behind the scenes at the DARPA Grand Challenge, the 142-mile robot race that died at mile 7
By Joseph HooperPosted 06.04.2004 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
When last we visited with the men and women, the boys and girls, the Red Teams and Blue Teams and Road Warriors of the DARPA Grand Challenge off-road robotics race, back in March, we signed off on a note of authentic ambivalence. The teams themselves were all over the map, from rehearsing victory speeches to praying they would pass the qualifying round and be allowed on to what was anticipated to be a 210-mile course from outside Los Angeles through the Mojave Desert to somewhere just west of Vegas.
In March, in the desert between Barstow, California, and Las Vegas, the DARPA Grand Challenge -- where autonomous vehicles must navigate themselves without any input from human handlers -- will make its dusty debut. For our March 2004 issue, writer Joe Hooper profiled some of the groups developing vehicles for the event. PopSci staff photographer John B. Carnett captured some of the trials and tribulations of Grand Challenge hopefuls on film. Here are some of the images that didn't make it into the magazine but that Carnett found particularly interesting.