Feeds

DARPA doubles cash payout for second robot race

Grander Challenge

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Business security measures using SSL

Fresh off the failure of the first Grand Challenge robot race, DARPA has decided to double the prize money for a second event to be held next year.

DARPA quietly slipped word of the now $2m prize on the Grand Challenge web site. At present, the cash award is the only definite detail for the second running of the robots. DARPA is expected to begin rolling out more information on how long the course will be and how it might differ from the first Grand Challenge in the next few months.

The first Grand Challenge, held in March, made much more liberal use of the term "challenge" than "grand." Only a handful of the 15 robot vehicles that made it to the starting line in Barstow, California managed to travel more than one mile. The top distance went to the Red Team from Carnegie Mellon University which travelled a whopping 7.4 miles on the back of $3m in equipment.

These results fell well short of the 225 miles the vehicles needed to travel in under ten hours in order to win a $1m prize. The robot warriors use GPS, radar, laser radar and a host of other technologies to move without human aid.

Exactly why DARPA would up the prize money for the Grand Challenge is not clear. The contestants tend to fall into two categories - neither of which cares much about the cash prize. One group hopes to earn prestige as a robotics powerhouse and will spend well over what DARPA can offer on their vehicles. The other group how to show off their skills using a budget approach and then cash in later in the corporate world after their technology proves itself in the field.

In addition, DARPA already had more entries this year than it cared to deal with, so there is little need to drum up added interest. But, hey, military spending is all the rage these days, so why complain.

If you can't wait until next year to get your robot race fix, head over to the Robot City trade show in September. The IRRF (International Robot Racing Federation) will be holding its own $1m race open to competitors from around the globe. ®

Related stories

Flying Car more economical than SUV
Robot wars: One man's story of promotional monks and mechanical friendships
DARPA's Grand Challenge proves to be too grand
Final robot grunts picked for $1million DARPA race
Robot grunts tumble in race for $1m prize
$1 million Grand Challenge map leaked on Web
DARPA quells robot road rage
Could Segways replace soldiers as hired killers?
DARPA chisels little guy out of $1 million race
DARPA's indecision threatens integrity of $1 million race

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.