Feeds

Living with robots: The $3.5m DARPA Urban Challenge

The race is on

Business security measures using SSL

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.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Next page: Bootnote

More from The Register

next story
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'
Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize
Is there ANYTHING cured pork can't do?
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.