This week's book giveaway is in the General Computing forum. We're giving away four copies of Arduino in Action and have Martin Evans, Joshua Noble, and Jordan Hochenbaum on-line! See this thread for details.
Hi, DARPA's third robot car competition will take place on Nov. 3st. The entirely autonomous vehicles must complete a 60 mile course in a mock urban environment in less than 6 hours. They must act as if they had a californian driver license. On Nov 1 the 20 finalist will be annouced.
Some extraordinary semi-finalists:
Team Oshkosh is cool because they accepted the challenge the hard way. They try to maneuver their monstrous TerraMax Truck through the course. Can only make trucks safer.
Team Sting. I bet "Sting" is short for "money extinction". Quote: "The Cayenne was also chosen for space and power. The team felt that no other vehicle could hold and power all of the computers". Felt? A team of scientist? Booooo
My favorite is Team LUX. They have realistic chances, because they have pre-production laser scanners of the next generation. Interesting is that their bot looks like a normal production car. All gadgets, apart from the mandatory emergency stop buttons, are hidden. whether they win or loose, they'll do it with style .
Originally posted by Chris Baron: Reason enough to track the race here. Do you have more interesting info, news, thougts, bets?
Popular Mechanics is running a live blog of the event.
And some cool stuff from my point of view: - MIT has a cluster of 10 laptops + power source + air conditioner (cooling source) --> 8,000 pounds of gear. - The gear on top of some the cars looks interesting, but the focus is more on AI/decision making. In fact Cornell's car is an SUV with a camera and some sensors on top. Last year's desert race was more conducive to interesting looking designs. This year is more for normal cars. - OshKosh's truck looks interesting. - The aerial shots on the video are good. - One car has a police siren - this is going to get annoying quickly - They have a mechanism to pause all cars at same time. (8:39 CA time) had to pause cars because one broke down. - They let cars continue with a time penalty for certain things
[edited to fix link and add more interesting things] [ November 03, 2007: Message edited by: Jeanne Boyarsky ]
Joined: Mar 21, 2003
Here is a live video streaming. I'm watching it now for over an hour. It's really fun to watch. Actually it's much more interesting than a high speed car race (e.g. Formular 1).
Oshkosh is out. It looked like he was e-breaked while attacking a building
AnnieWay is out. Had descision probs on a traffic circle the size of an airfield
Intelligent Vehicle Systems' XAV-250 is out. It had descision probs from the start
[ November 03, 2007: Message edited by: Chris Baron ]
More interesting stuff that isn't mentioned on popular mechanic's blog. Or my commentary: (I went out for 40 minutes so most of this is from the recap) - Video of UCF going around a stalled car - Video of TeraMax (Osh Kosh Truck) sitting near building. Sad! This was an interesting looking entry - The live video feed is good and impressively handling bandwidth demands - The status board on the other hand is still completely blank - During a lull, they showed a recap of the 2004 race. I forgot how cute some of those entries were! Like the motorcycle mentioned above and the vacummn cleaner like one
What time zone are you in? I'm in Eastern so this started a good time for me (11am)
More interesting stuff for anyone reading this after: - two teams finished the first set of missions (they need to complete three sets) within a couple minutes of each other - UCF drove into a house - the police siren on one team's car is still really annoying - I keep looking out the window to see what happened! - A screen shot of two cars facing each other in a "stand off" - A pigeon, sea gull or duck walked by the off road area during this stand off [ November 03, 2007: Message edited by: Jeanne Boyarsky ]
Joined: Mar 21, 2003
Ooops here it is evening (see my sig). I thought it was morning for you even though you wrote about lunch
- I can't believe I'm spending hours watching traffic - VA Tech parked nicely in the parking lot. I like those spots where you can just pull in and out without having to go back and forth. - 10:39 - fourth team out - This is the team that parked by hitting a house. - Stanford brought an inflatable Santa to show what they used to test their car would stop for people/animals without putting anyone at risk. - Stanford showed their rack of two computers. - 10:49 - two more teams completed mission #1 - Little Ben and Boss.
> I found JRT funny back then JRT is funny. I just didn't get it right away.
> The police siren is CMU's Boss. It performes very speedy and it looks great. That it does. It's just the sounds I don't like!
Joined: Mar 21, 2003
Originally posted by Jeanne Boyarsky: - I can't believe I'm spending hours watching traffic
So true But each time i think it's getting boaring something weird happens. At the moment MIT and CarOLO had an almost crash on this airfield sized traffic circle. Too crazy, so much space. [ November 03, 2007: Message edited by: Chris Baron ]
- Go Linux. The Ben Franklin team (Philly) thought it was worth mentioning the OS they are using. - MIT & Corolo head on again as Chris pointed out. A human driven car was able to avoid them just fine. It's funny seeing a human get in the stuck cars to reposition one. I like that they are letting the teams continue with a time penalty (rather than eliminate them) when something like this happens. - They used the phrase "reboot the car". Is this something we have to look forward to as cars get smarter? The blue screen of death on a highway.
Going out again for about 45 minutes to buy groceries. I'm trying to position this so I don't miss the hour recap
Joined: Mar 21, 2003
- CarOLO is out. Even though it looked like MIT was in the wrong direction in the circle i assume it was rated as an descision problem and it was not it's first. It got stuck in an offroad excursion from the dirt track.
I afraid MIT won't make either. Another weakness and it's out.
And I made it back for the recap with 5 minutes to spare
- Good time to take a break. I saw the near colision; just didn't know it hit CARolo. - They showed all the computers/monitors at DARPA's command center. - It wasn't the most interesting of recaps. They went over the standings, but the robot footage was low. Most of it was interviews.
- Showed "Global 360 Pamorama Video" which looks like you are viewing the video through a car's windshield. They said that this is what the robots are seeing. Which is essentially waht a human would see. - The cars have side sensors to simulate looking over your shoulder at the blind spot. - VA Tech drove off the road and then stopped. It recovered quickly on it's own. - The Boss has an interesting parking technique. It drove through a number of spots, parked and then drove through another number of spots to get out. This isn't the driving straight through that many of us do in a lot. This is diagonally driving over a lane or spots. Good thing there are no other cars around. - 12:30 - first car crash. MIT tried to pass Cornell.
Chris: I agree. Hitting another car isn't like getting stuck. And it's certainly worse than pausing for too long. The rules are always arbitrary and unfair. But it's confusing what they are valuing here.
- MIT has more sensors than any other car in the competition. The irony of having this featured/stated RIGHT AFTER MIT caused a crash. - Teramax Osh Kosh's Truck was featured this hour. They compared it with last year's entry which was interesting. - All 6 teams completed first two missions.
- showed VA Tech successfuly passing two cars - stated a big emphasis is on safety. MIT? - stated scoring procedures are complex - I wonder when we find out the winner - the "parking" is a GPS based assigned spot. Not quite the way a human would do it - 1:45 - Standford is the first to cross the finish line (it doesn't mean they won; just that they completed it. There are penalties and different start times. It does mean that at least one team completed it.) - Tartan's Boss (Carnegie Mellon) finished a minute after Stanford. - next to finish at 1:51 is VA Tech's Odin [ November 03, 2007: Message edited by: Jeanne Boyarsky ]
I went out for an hour and a half and was pleased to find that the challenge is still going on. Pleased that I get to see the end, not that it is going so long. The only finisher I missed was Ben Franklin.
I want to complain to you guys - you cost me about 3 hours of my life yesterday. The clickstream was kind of like this: Urban Challenge blog linked above -> Wikipedia: Victorville AFB -> Wikipedia: USAF in Europe -> Wikipedia: USAF in Germany -> Wikipedia: Ramstein AFB, Kaiserslautern Military Community, Spangdahlem Air Base and Rhein-Main Air Base -> Youtube: Videos of the Ramstein Air Show Disaster and various hard landing videos -> Wikipedia: Berlin Airlift and Berlin Blockade -> lostplaces.de, a web site about disused military (and other) installations (a full hour spent here alone) -> CIA: Declassified reports on the intelligence war in Berlin 1946-1961, particularly the Berlin tunnel operation -> Truman Library, Report to the President about the situation in Berlin and Germany, July 1948 (during the Berlin Blockade) -> CIA: Books and Monographs -> CIA: the Oxcart/SR-71 program
Highly fascinating and educational, though Here are the CIA books and monographs, and the memorandum to President Truman. [ November 04, 2007: Message edited by: Ulf Dittmer ]