Feeds

Living with robots: The $3.5m DARPA Urban Challenge

The race is on

High performance access to file storage

11:22

I've been out to a number of the viewing points provided for the media. DARPA lets us peek in on four-way intersections with stops, straightaways and some other choice locales.

One striking thing is the out of nowhere trouble the more sophisticated cars can have on easier parts of the course.

Here's the Cornell vehicle, which got stuck for no apparent reason.

Cornell's vehicle holds up the race

Cornell paused

It would just keep stopping and starting, moving only an inch or two at a time. This went on for about 15 minutes before DARPA allowed team members to drive onto the course and reset the vehicle. I'm confused as to why TerraMax was not afforded the same courtesy.

Stanford's vehicle Junior - in the second position here with manned vehicles all around it - had to wait patiently while the issues with Team Cornell were taken care of.

A traffic jam on course with about 8 vehicles lined up

Cornell holds back Stanford

Junior just kept its indicator on like a good driver until it got its turn.

The UCF bot hits a house

House Ouch

Meanwhile, Team UCF got stuck after almost running into the side of a house here on the retired base. The military uses these crashed out pads for training.

11:51 One of the commenters below made note of DARPA's mind-bending $21m price tag for fixing up this event site.

The reporter next to me remarked, "I've seen county fairs that were better prepared and more impressive than this." And he's right. There's not even a funnel cake booth here.

What's also amusing is all the DARPA propaganda that gets repeated over and over again. Director Anthony Tether receives credit for "bringing his dream to fruition" and personally guiding this stunning event.

Seriously though, and I don't say this lightly, I've never met a single person with anything positive to say about Tether. Most people give Carnegie Mellon prof Red Whittaker credit for pushing this concept forward. They also say Tether gets obsessed with minor details and constantly steps on peoples' toes. Even those inside of DARPA tell me he is "unbearable," while another reporter described him as "a little Stalin."

But, if you believe the hype, Tether is the world's leading robot expert.

And now to more trouble.

High performance access to file storage

Next page: Bootnote

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Saturn spotted spawning new FEMTO-MOON
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.