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Fifteen Teams Selected for DARPA Grand Challenge

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the lowered-expectations dept.

Technology 199

doughnuthole writes "The official posting has been made of the 15 teams that qualified for the Grand Challenge, seven of which completed the entire QID course. The top three teams, and thus those who get to start first, were the Red Team, SciAutonics II, and Team Caltech. The race starts at 6:30 am Saturday, with teams leaving every 5 minutes. A live webcast will be available at grandchallenge.org." Reader uss_valiant writes "Tomshardware runs an article about DARPA's Grand Challenge. It features new pictures, the DARPA video of the qualification and covers some technical challenges such as the obstacle detection."

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199 comments

Vroom vroom... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8550976)

Here comes T-X!

2nd post (-1, Offtopic)

lecter,hannibal_md (595615) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550985)

he forgot to say 1st post...

Re:2nd post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8551109)

HE FAGGOT TO SAY FUCK YOU, YOU STUPID FUCKING HOMO!!!



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PR0N TIP: Google now supports search globbing (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8551075)

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Note: The good links are the ones without "archive_vids.htm"

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Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8551115)

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Re:Vroom vroom... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8551103)

FU/CK YOU FUCK ALL YOU HOMOS SIEG HEIL SIEG HEIL

SIEG HEIL [hick.org] SIEG HEIL [hick.org] SIEG HEIL [hick.org] SIEG HEIL [hick.org] SIEG HEIL [hick.org] SIEG HEIL [hick.org] SIEG HEIL [hick.org]ughnuthole writes "The official posting has been made of the 15 teams that qualified for the Grand Challenge, seven of which completed the entire QID course. The top three teams, and thus those who get to start first, were the Red Team, SciAutonics II, and Team Caltech. The race starts at 6:30 am Saturday, with teams leaving every 5 minutes. A live webcast will be available at grandchallenge.org." SIEG HEIL [hick.org]Reader uss_valiant writes "Tomshardware runs an article about DARPA's Grand Challenge. It features new pictures, the DARPA video of the qualification and covers some technical challenges such as the obstacle detection." ( Read More... | 17 of 24 comments ) Your Rights Online: SIEG HEIL [hick.org]FBI Adds to Wiretap Wish List Posted by michael on Saturday March 13, @04:08AM from the can-we-hear-you-now? dept. WorkEmail writes "A far-reaching proposal from the FBI, made public Friday, would require all broadband Internet providers, including cable modem and DSL companies, to rewire their networks to support easy wiretapping by police. The FBI's request to the Federal Communications Commission aims to give police ready access to any form of Internet-based communications. If approved as drafted, the proposal could dramatically expand the scope of the agency's wiretap powers, raise costs for cable broadband companies and complicate Internet product development." ( Read More... | 118 of 169 comments | yro.slashdot.org ) Science: Smarter Children Through Food Supplements Posted by michael on SIEG HEIL [hick.org]Saturday March 13, @01:53AM from the bright-ideas dept. An anonymous reader SIEG HEIL [hick.org]writes "Baby rats (mmm...baby rats) fed a little extra choline in utero popped out with brain cells dramatically bigger and faster than pups who didn't receive the supplement. Duke University researchers say the implications are profound for humans and the future of learning." ( Read More... | 146 of 196 comments | science.slashdot.org ) Second Generation Homebrew PVR Devices Posted by michael on Friday March 12, @11:47PM from the got-to-do-things-the-hard-way dept. An anonymous reader writes "It looks like the second generation of homebrew PVRs is on its way. Asus recently released their Digimatrix barebones PC which combines a lot of features in a very slim and stylish box. DVD/CD-R, WiFi, HDTV tuner, FM Tuner, memory card reader etc. All for ~$400. The reviews look good, except that the software that comes with it doesn't look all that great... of course this may not be a SIEG HEIL [hick.org]problem because there has already been significant effort in SIEG HEIL [hick.org]getting linux to run on it and most features are working. Combine MythTV with this device and you have an almost perfect PVR? I wonder what other hardware companies have in store for the homebrew PVR market?" ( Read More... | 104 of 146 comments ) Build a Robot out of a Car? Posted by michael on Friday March 12, @09:41PM from the why-the-heck-not dept. SomeRobotGuy writes "A researcher in the U.K. is in the process of building an autonomous biped robot out of a Mini Cooper r50. Its functions are controlled by six computers running RTLinux and it's powered by an internal combustion engine. And the thing's not tiny, at over 10 feet tall! The site includes videos showing some impressive results." ( Read More... | 151 of 201 comments ) Ask Slashdot: Design a Virtual Office with Open Source? Posted by Cliff on Friday March 12, @07:30PM from the how-would-you-do-it SIEG HEIL [hick.org]dept. apropos asks: "An interesting question came up recently when discussing SIEG HEIL [hick.org](yet again) starting an open-source based consulting company: 'How would you design the ultimate virtual office with open source software?' With things like fax, VoIP, web, email, security and office suites all available as open source products, what kind of useful things could be done? One idea that came to mind was emailing answering machine recordings. What would you put into your ultimate virtual office solution?" ( Read More... | 131 of 209 comments | ask.slashdot.org ) What's in Your Gadget Bag, Cory? Posted by michael on Friday March 12, @06:25PM from the looks-like-someone-just-had-a-fax dept. Cory Doctorow has taken a two-second break from his road warrior ways to pen this description of the crud he lugs around. Read it and weep, wanna-bes. ( Read More... | 243 of 344 comments ) Book Reviews: Essential Check Point Firewall-1 NG Posted by timothy on Friday March 12, @05:30PM from the updated-for-the-new-now dept. Raymond Lodato writes "For SIEG HEIL [hick.org]the past six years, I've been responsible for the installation, configuration, and maintenance of the SIEG HEIL [hick.org]firewalls at my company. I was surprised and annoyed at the caliber of documentation supplied by Check Point. Six years ago, you really needed a reseller wit

Weird fact (-1, Informative)

andy666 (666062) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550984)

When I was on vacation last year I met a woman who claimed to be the mother of the director for this DARPA program. She said that DARPA wasn't really interested in the results, but only in funding a few of the well connected universities involved.

Re:Weird fact (4, Funny)

hanssprudel (323035) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551023)

Informative? Wait I can do this do:

Last year I had a pottery course with a person who claimed her sisters, friends, dog trainers mother in law actually handled funding at DARPA. She said that this was actually a nefarious plan to speed up the development of killer robot cars that will one day rule the world!

Re:Weird fact (2, Interesting)

andy666 (666062) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551040)

Sorry, what can I tell you - I didn't get her number. She was too old for me.

But this is how DARPA works - it is very much an "Old boys" network. I was a postdoc in a robotics lab at a large university a few years back and we were competing for DARPA money for this project where robots walk up stairs. There was a DARPA guy who was a real colonel who would come to listen to presentations, and if he liked you then you got money. We didn't get the money. This was a project for a stair climbing robot, and the whole thing was a disaster, since none of the groups could make it work except with a hack - in other words only in very special situations. Anyway it made me really cynical about the whole DARPA robot thing. What they expect is incredibly unrealistic and results in people practically faking it.

Re:Weird fact (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8551283)

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Re:Weird fact (4, Insightful)

m00nun1t (588082) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551041)

How is this funding a university? The prize of $1m is unlikely to or perhaps only barely just cover the costs of any serious entry. People clearly aren't in it for the money.

Re:Weird fact (4, Insightful)

fake_name (245088) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551088)

Winning the race might be worth $1m up front... but how much is a contract to build robotic vehicles for the US military worth? And of course, many universities would be researching automated robots even if the competition did not exist; winning an extra $1m is just a bonus.

Re:Weird fact (3, Insightful)

DavidDeLux (650471) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551136)

Its also a lot of publicity for the university... and I'm sure many an academic paper will be written by the teams... publish or perish!

Re:Weird fact (-1, Redundant)

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Re:I LOVE ANAL SEX (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8551118)

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Streaming Broadcast over the Internet (5, Informative)

Doodhwala (13342) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550994)


For all those of us who don't have access to the DARPA channel, we can stream the telecast live from here [cmu.edu].

These are the same people who appeared in this slashdot story [slashdot.org] and seems to be different from the "live webcast" mentioned in the story which only appears to have a tracking feature.

Re:Streaming Broadcast over the Internet (5, Informative)

uss_valiant (760602) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551028)

And what about the official 3d tracking [grandchallenge.org] (macromedia 3d shockwave app, looks great)?
It uses about 150 MB RAM and 100% CPU on my celeron 1.4 GHZ...
According to this 3d map (updated every 30 seconds) the Caltech Bot is running since a 30 minutes or so. But I couldn't observe any movement...
As a side note: The videos on tomshardware [grandchallenge.org] are not exactly the same as those from the official website [grandchallenge.org] (very long ones, only the last 2 show vehicles that master the qualification without longer pauses).
The videos from tomshardware are much shorter, a lot less boring ;) and show the autonomous vehicles going havoc :)

This is the list of all qualified teams (from the new .pdf):

1. (22) Red Team - Pittsburgh, PA
2. (21) SciAutonics II - Thousand Oaks, CA
3. (05) Team Caltech - Pasadena, CA
4. (07) Digital Auto Drive (DAD) - Morgan Hill, CA
5. (25) Virginia Tech - Blacksburg, VA
6. (23) Axion Racing - Westlake Village, CA
7. (02) Team CajunBot - Lafayette, LA
8. (13) Team ENSCO - Falls Church, VA
9. (04) Team CIMAR - Gainesville, FL and Logan, UT
10. (10) Palos Verdes High School RoadWarriors - Palos Verdes Estates, CA
11. (17) SciAutonics I - Thousand Oaks, CA
12. (20) Team TerraMax - Oshkosh, WI
13. (15) Team TerraHawk - Gardena, CA
14. (09) The Golem Group - Santa Monica, CA
15. (16) The Blue Team - Berkeley, CA

Re:Streaming Broadcast over the Internet (2, Funny)

Carl T (749426) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551148)

And what about the official 3d tracking (macromedia 3d shockwave app, looks great)?

How do you manage to view it? I tried, but it seems to require some plugin that does not exist. Or, well, it exists but only for Microsoft's and Apple's OSes. Which seems pretty silly if the target audience is people with an interest in technology. :-O (OK, so I know there are geeks on OS X, but they're a small minority as far as I can tell.)

Re:Streaming Broadcast over the Internet (1)

robslimo (587196) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551288)

The plugin is working fine for me with Mozilla 1.3.

But by Jove it's suckin' CPU! As I type this reply, I'm getting about 1 character to the screen every 2 seconds. Not sure if this is gonna work out. I may have to try that CMU link from an earlier post.

Re:Streaming Broadcast over the Internet (1)

Arae (658158) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551559)

The plugin is working fine for me with Mozilla 1.3.

Yeah, it works with Mozilla on _Windows_; but unfortunately for the rest of us, there is shock player plugin for Linux.

serious CPU pwn@g3 (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551173)

my computer is also eating it hardcore. its using up 88MB of ram on a 1.3 GHz t-bird.

Not sure about that 10MB download though. It loaded up way to quick (on cable) to be 10 megs, even with the shockwave install.

P.S. how come there was no freakin' advance notice of this on /.??? not even a hint or a whisper all week? Did I not get the memo?

Re:serious CPU pwn@g3 (1)

Emil Brink (69213) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551262)

What is the connection between how much memory something requires and the speed of your CPU?

Re:serious CPU pwn@g3 (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551395)

I'm not sure, but i thought it worth mentioning. On further investigation, loading the high qual page takes my RAM usage from 208 ---> 404 MB.

Re:Streaming Broadcast over the Internet (4, Informative)

MyFourthAccount (719363) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551202)

According to this 3d map (updated every 30 seconds) the Caltech Bot is running since a 30 minutes or so

Hmm, I don't know how you got that information, but their status page indicates that no-one has started, as of yet (5:10am in Barstow). The race is supposed to start at 6:30am, so that would make sense.

Maybe they had some incorrect data initially. Anyways, this slightly 'lighter' page [grandchallenge.org] shows the status.

btw, P4-2GHz also at 100% / 125MB RAM

Re:Streaming Broadcast over the Internet (1)

uss_valiant (760602) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551219)

And what about the official 3d tracking (macromedia 3d shockwave app, looks great)?
How do you manage to view it? I tried, but it seems to require some plugin that does not exist. Or, well, it exists but only for Microsoft's and Apple's OSes. Which seems pretty silly if the target audience is people with an interest in technology. :-O (OK, so I know there are geeks on OS X, but they're a small minority as far as I can tell.)

don't know of any official shockwave plug-in for linux, sorry. but there are ways, google it.

TubeSteak wrote:
P.S. how come there was no freakin' advance notice of this on /.??? not even a hint or a whisper all week? Did I not get the memo?

it has been covered, there are several /. news articles, use the search function below (grand challenge, darpa).

MyFourthAccount wrote:
According to this 3d map (updated every 30 seconds) the Caltech Bot is running since a 30 minutes or so
Hmm, I don't know how you got that information, but their status page indicates that no-one has started, as of yet (5:10am in Barstow). The race is supposed to start at 6:30am, so that would make sense. Maybe they had some incorrect data initially. Anyways, this slightly 'lighter' page [grandchallenge.org] shows the status.

Actually, this "Caltech Bot 5" is now back at start (again?) on the 3d tracking map. Perhaps they were testing something...

Darn CMU robotics people (2, Insightful)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551320)

You know, for a school that has an insane amount of Linux emphasis, I'm terribly disappointed that CMU chose to use *QuickTime* for the streaming format. Yeah, let me just grab my copy of Codeweaver's product, why don't I? Hell, CMU's cluster machines don't have Crossover. There are a zillion ways to stream data to mplayer, and sure enough, they choose the single way that can't be used on Linux short of buying something.

Re:Streaming Broadcast over the Internet (1)

aerodyno (221210) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551449)

Thanks so much, I've been looking for a live stream for a while!

Re:Streaming Broadcast over the Internet (2, Informative)

pvanheus (186787) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551621)

Apologies to the CMU broadcast folks, but this has to be about the most boring broadcast that could have been done for this event. Instead of updates on the progress of the teams, they are simply training a camera on the start area, and not saying anything most of the time.

Meanwhile the status board shows the Red Team and SciAutonics II neck on neck at 7 miles along the course each. Seems Team Caltech isn't doing too well , since they're still stuck on 1 mile from the start. Would love to know the story behind those distances....

peter

Re:Streaming Broadcast over the Internet (1, Flamebait)

Arae (658158) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551707)

What's with all the anti-geeks clues that I get from this Grand Challenge thing...

First, if I'm not mistaken, DARPA channel can only be access through satellite; how many of us average geeks can actually afford it?

Second, the 3D tracking thing on DARPA's site requires fucking Shockwave player, which there are NONE in Linux. I know it can be run with the Crossover plugin, but I'm not going to buy it (or register for the demo) just for watching a useless 3D map.

Third, the CMU's broadcasting requires another fucking priorietary software - Quicktime; and in order to watch it in Linux, Crossover plugin is also required... (seriously, why couldn't they direct the broadcasting to MPlayer, instead of _requiring_ Quicktime?).

Oh well, guess I have to watch it on my roommate's Wintel machine.

Re:Streaming Broadcast over the Internet (1)

Psychic Burrito (611532) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551776)

That's great and all, but using this streaming soft with OSX is painfully difficult. I just wrote this to the authors:

oh boy, using your app is incredibly difficult in OSX. Where do I begin...


Installation: A clickable app woud be prefered, because people really don't like the terminal. If you don't wanna go the whole way, a ".command" file would be clickable by the masses and still be able to install things.

During installation: Your installation obviously depends on having the current directory set to the directory containing all these files, but the readme doesn't talk about this. Bad.

End of installation: Some talk about a linux plugin is echoed to the user even though this is OSX we're talking about.

Result of installation: The helper app is installed at ~/bin, where it definitely doesn't belong in OS X. /Applications/Utils would be much better.

Viewing a broadcast: After all these steps, I would expect that viewing is now click+done. But noh noh, the file won't open automatically, and the terminal command to enter is really confusing, because:
- nobody know where "the path of the ESM binary you installed in step 1" is, because the installation didn't tell the user (one has to look for himself)
- most people don't know how to enter the full path to their downloaded file. On the mac, one just drag the file into the terminal have it write the full path automatically, but you don't write that either, so everybody who managed to follow until here is now out of luck.

And after all these problems, the "piece de resistance": the log file tells me that I would have to manually make sure that alls "sdp" files are automatically opened in Quicktime Player. Well how do I do that? Solution was to find a file without Type/Creator codes (OS9 stuff), rename it to end with sdp, go into get info, change "always open with..." to quicktime player (even though OSX tells me that qt player will most likely not be able to play it back), then the the button "change all" below to make this setting global.

And you, dear programmers, tell me that you expect every OSX guy using your software to go through all the hoops? Are you serious?


Hope to make life a bit easier with the hints embedded in this letter for other OS X users...

Cheers!

Departure. (5, Informative)

cynicalmoose (720691) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550997)

If a team leaves every 5 minutes, (and assuming the first few hundred yards is relatively easy going - you find that on most courses of any nature), then we are going to have an awful lot of bunching at the first point the vehicles start dropping below 25mph. Interestingly, the rules [darpa.mil] state that the team in front (i.e. being passed) has right of way, unless E-stopped.

Re:Departure.SIEG HILE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8551123)

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If a team leaves every 5 minutes, (and assuming the first few hundred yards is relatively easy going - you find that on most courses of any nature), then we are going to have an awful lot of bunching at the first (Use the Preview Button! Check those URLs!)
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The race starts at 6:30 am Saturday, (4, Insightful)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551000)

6:30? That means nothing in nowadays world!
WHAT TIMEZONE???

Re:The race starts at 6:30 am Saturday, (4, Informative)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551014)

6:30? That means nothing in nowadays world!

WHAT TIMEZONE???
Google for Mojave Desert and you'll see the Mojave is in California and Nevada, i.e. PST or MST [desertusa.com]. Unless of course you think there are more then one Mojave deserts. :-D

Re:The race starts at 6:30 am Saturday, (2, Insightful)

HeghmoH (13204) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551033)

Yeah, that's real informative. You already gave two separate time zones there, which are an hour apart, so which one would it be? Plus, the submitter didn't say it was local time for the race. Maybe he lives in micronesia and he meant local time for him. How can we know?

Re:The race starts at 6:30 am Saturday, (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8551053)

Uh, for the non-Americans, what's that relative to GMT?

Re:The race starts at 6:30 am Saturday, (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8551032)

Oh come on!

Don't you know the USA is the WORLD!

CNN Story About The Race (3, Informative)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551005)

CNN is running a story [cnn.com] about the DARPA race/challenge, in case anyone is curious.

Re:CNN Story About The Race (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8551037)

michael is also a stupid dickhead, and nobody give a shit (+1, Informative)

Re:CNN Story About The Race (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8551133)

NO FUCKING SHIT????

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waste of time? (4, Interesting)

Un0r1g1nal (711750) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551008)

And the odds on any of these machines even finishing the challange? Pretty slim, Red Team looks to have the best chances, pretty nice looking machine they've got going as well. All in the name of science and progression I guess .. but if the army vehicles auto targeting equipment couldn't distinguish the difference between a helicoptor and an incomming vehichle .. what are the odds on the software they put on the 'finished' development being any better? also pretty slim. May as well just spend the money on deveoloping the something worthwhile.

Re:waste of time? (3, Informative)

Slowtreme (701746) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551150)

Actually I watched a show last night and they Highlighted the Red Team's Vehicle. After watching the show I was given no idication of any other competitors, but they didn't provide any reasons why the Red Team might not finish. Hell, after what I watched I'm wondering if any other teams are really even playing the same game... That is one high priced Hummer.

Re:waste of time? (1)

attaboy (689931) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551699)


Well, as of now it looks like all that money went to naught, as the Red Team vehicle is disabled 7 miles out.

Re:waste of time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8551861)

Well I dunno. I'm looking at this map it they (red team) seem to be in 2nd place behind team 21. I have no idea if they are stopped though. Are there like updates somewhere, besides this shockwave thing?

Following... (2, Interesting)

SisyphusShrugged (728028) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551009)

Following the freakin DARPA it appeared at first as if it was a serious, tough, attempt to automate vehicles.

However, time after time they reduce the requirements for qualifying, and basically continually reduce the prestige of the event, now they are allowing all 15 teams to race, even though only 7 finished the much easier race (The last race, only the Carnegie Mellon team actually completed!)

Re:Following... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8551044)

The prior event was the QID it was designed to determine the saftey of the vehicles only. they didn't change the rules mid-event (as the earilier post would have you believe). But a prior to the start of the QID.
A lot of folks are spending tons of time and energy attacking a hard problem. If DARPA thinks they deserve to watch their car leave the "official" start line, it's DARPA's decision to make. It's DARPA's event, they can run it however they want to, if they wanted to tape rubber ducks on the hoods prior to departure, they could ask eveyone to do so.

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Re:Following... (1)

Moderation abuser (184013) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551243)

Bugger prestige, it's results which matter.

If the teams can't finish they lose, if they finish, they win.

Re:Following... (1)

agentk (74906) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551708)

No, this race *is* all about prestige. I will be very suprised if any of them finish-- and *very* suprised if it's under 10 hours.

It's not about results at all-- It's a high profile event in which teams get media coverage (from what I've seen so far CMU has totally won that race!) and prestige within the DARPA network of project managers.

Too Late (1)

Geekbot (641878) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551068)

Too late to enter my old Chevette? The title sounds like a new NBC reality show.

Re:Too Late (2, Insightful)

eclectro (227083) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551081)

The title sounds like a new NBC reality show

I'm surprised that a network isn't covering this live or at least making an hour show out of it. They get free content and every geek in the world will be watching.

Cop-out? (3, Interesting)

gracefool (649481) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551121)

According to previous [slashdot.org] comments [slashdot.org] at Slashdot, a map of the course has been leaked, meaning that entrants can cheat by pre-programming a course.

Helped program this as a Freshman (5, Interesting)

Big Yak (441903) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551149)

When I was a Freshman at CMU, I worked on a research programming project translating a bunch of the Navigation code for this self-driving HMMWV ("Hum vee"). It was originally written in C, and we converted it to Ada... though I bet it's been reverted back to a more versatile language.

It used multiple cameras mounted at different heights to build a 3D view of it's surroundings, and could judge all kinds of obstacles... though at the time (7 years ago) had a lot of trouble with streams and shadows. I was amazed that it could recognize stoplights correctly, and even signaled when it was changing lanes on a street.

Either way, it was a great project for a young would-be programmer to work on, very amazing stuff, and lots of cool toys to see in the Robotics Institute there.

Freshman programmers (0, Offtopic)

jfengel (409917) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551878)

Oh, goody. Freshman programmers.

No offense, buddy. You're at CMU, which presumably means you're pretty smart. (I have friends who graduated CMU, and they're some of the brightest I've ever met.)

Not all freshman are novices, of course. I was programming for several years, professionally, before I went to college. I'm sure plenty of other people were, too.

But in general, it would take a hell of a software engineering environment to allow freshman programmers to contribute more than they cost. (CMU is the home of the Software Engineering Institute; maybe this was treated as a Level 4 project?)

I did some work in college for a company that tried to make software with undergrads, often freshmen. (Theoretically they were testing management techniques.) Time and again, I would track down a "bug" to a piece of code, and find that fixing it wouldn't solve the bug, only to discover that that piece of code had been copied-and-pasted to a hundred different locations, each slightly different (rather than parameterizing a function or refactoring).

My main contribution that year was to eliminate 3/4 of their code base. The fact that this software was tracking uranium for the DoE didn't make me feel any better.

Hey, if CMU can take freshmen and make productive programmers out of 'em, more power to 'em.

For the rest of the world... (4, Informative)

Renegade Lisp (315687) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551166)

I couldn't find any indication of what time zone they use on the official web site.

Assuming that "6.30 am" means local time in Barstow, California, that would be 6.30 PST -0800, or 14.30 GMT.

Are we there yet? (3, Insightful)

1iar_parad0x (676662) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551235)

What we haven't landed on Mars yet?

Look, folks it's engineering. It takes time. Frankly, competition is good. You have to understand, most of these schools/people participating don't make multi-million dollar robots for a living. CMU is probably the best (where's MIT??). Maybe CalTech or Berkeley is a close second. We didn't win the space race overnight. Engineering takes time. Eventually, the competition will learn the best techniques and everybody profits. It's is an educational thing...

DARPA checklist:
-sentient AI
-robust hardware design
-massively parallel neural net
-robust error handling
-programmed fundamental laws of robotics
-able to withstand a tank blast
-able to withstand a bomb shell
-able to withstand a nuclear/biological/chemical attack
-able to withstand a REALLY BIG MAGNET!

Seriously, I think even Sadam could beat our robots! Just buy the mother of all big magnets (or make one). Oh that's right, they need electricity! Sorry, carry on. Maybe they could get a donkey to run on treadmill and make a generator.... (Okay, not so seriously.)

So, how robust can any robot be? All I need is a really big magnet and it's screwed.

Yeah, how come the Terminator/Matrix/Inspector Gadget never had to worry about magnets?

Re:Are we there yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8551325)

MIT is crap for robots.

Re:Are we there yet? (1)

betelgeuse-4 (745816) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551458)

+5, Insightful! more like +5, tin foil hat wearer.

So what if a vehicle is vulnerable to EMP? Your enemy (in conventional warfare) is unlikely to use one as it will also damage his equipment. Terrorists are more likely to try to use EMP against civilian systems. If the phone/internet network was brought down by an EMP there would be chaos, but no-one is going to pay to make it invulnerable to an EMP.

Team Terramax - Incredible Vehicle (3, Interesting)

bshroyer (21524) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551285)

Team Terramax is a collaboration [oshkoshtruck.co.uk]between Oshkosh Truck and Ohio State University based on the MTVR, [usmc.mil] a six-wheeled, 425 HP, seven-ton truck.

I had the privilege of test-driving an MTVR on the obstacle course at their factory in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. This truck, fully loaded, could take on hills steeper than feel comfortable taking on in an ATV. We forded streams, climbed over barricades, and did steep side grades, all without breaking a sweat. I've got no doubt that this vehicle is up to the Grand Challenge, if the guys at OSU have their technology in order...

Only in America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8551340)


would they get their school students to design their next gen military hardware,

North Korea is proud of you

THIS JUST STARTED (3, Informative)

malaire (248775) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551430)

Just to inform everyone who talked about what timezone is meant here - bots are just now starting to go as I write this. Currently 3 bots out.

Info [grandchallenge.org]

Fat blob (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8551526)

Holy crap! Look at this guy's body. It's some sort of amorphous Michelin man goo. http://www.grandchallenge.org/gallery/Full/001026. jpg

Red Team Disabled? (1)

SmilingBoy (686281) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551529)

I just get the Status Board and the tracking page, and in the tracking page (the flash animation), the Red Team bot is marked red, which would mean disabled! SciAutonics II is displayed as "paused". Do you see the same?

Re:Red Team Disabled? (1)

Mr. Underhill (119443) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551623)

The guy on the CMU webcast says they had a motor failure.

Re:Red Team Disabled? (1)

SmilingBoy (686281) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551646)

That's a shame. They were doing very well and I had some hopes that they would maybe even finish in under 10 hours.

Re:Red Team Disabled? (1)

Mr. Underhill (119443) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551668)

Yeah.

I think they are blocking the other bots, tho. The web guy said there was a course blockage but he did not say what the obstruction was. I'm guessing its Sandstorm.

Neither the flash animation or the status board seem to match what the web guy is saying. I think they are kinda buggy.

Re:Red Team Disabled? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8551678)

3 million dollars worth of the latest technology, and it's the OEM engine that craps out? Classic. They should've used a Land Rover. Hummers are teh SuX0r.

Re:Red Team Disabled? (1)

SmilingBoy (686281) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551638)

Red Team still seems disabled, CyberRider (SciAutonics II) seems to be running again. DAD is close to the other two cars, but now paused.

Re:Red Team Disabled? (1)

pchekov (172280) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551658)

I don't see anything at all. The Statusboard won't load and the live tracking doesn't really seem to be updating, as I can't see any movement...

Anyone else have problems? Is the server overloaded or what?

Re:Red Team Disabled? (1)

pchekov (172280) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551685)

Ok, that's typical... immediately after I my previous post I can of course reload the statusboard... :)

The live tracking still looks the same, though...

7 miles and that's it (1)

Barzoo (761898) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551574)

It looks like they're only going to get 7 miles into this race. There must be some crazy feature that's keeping them from going any further. A bottleneck of some sort?

Re:7 miles and that's it (1)

robslimo (587196) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551688)

Yeah, the SciAutonicsII team caught up with Red Team very quickly once they started. Last 3 moves I saw were

Red Team 7 miles
SciAutonics 6 miles
Team Caltech 1 mile
Team Dad 3 miles.

Now it's been at
Red Team 7 miles
SciAutonics 7 miles
Team Caltech 1 mile
Team Dad 6 miles.

for the last 10 or 15 minutes.

You suppose SciAuto and Red Team had a little fender bender?

Re:7 miles and that's it (1)

robslimo (587196) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551737)

Ha!

Red Team and SciAutonics are 'Disabled' as of 7:45!

How's that for CMU robotic tech, eh?

Re:7 miles and that's it (1)

Creosote (33182) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551705)

The two lead teams are disabled at of 7:64 PST, and the 3D Shockwave animation just crashed my video system. It's going to be a loooong race...

Re:7 miles and that's it (1)

adamh (197663) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551885)

I'm watching a stream of the satellite link and they said that Red Team had a mechanical failure of some sort. The commentatory was quite clear that it was not a computer or electronics problem.

The high school team drove straight into the wall ... again.

Four "Disabled?" (1)

Bombcar (16057) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551704)

As of 07:46:48 PST, 4 of the vehicles that were running are disabled.

Including the favorite, Red Team.

TerraMax has not begun to move, yet.

Re:Four "Disabled?" (1)

Bombcar (16057) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551783)

Hmmmm.... Funny stuff on the Status board [grandchallenge.org].

SciAutonics II is marked as Disabled, but keeps moving......

So far, it is in the lead.

Four teams now disabled (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551710)

Red Team and SciAutonics II are dead at mile 7. Virginia Tech and Axion Racing are dead at the starting line. Team DAD is in the lead at mile 6. Team Caltech has been hung up at mile 1 for half an hour now.

Re:Four teams now disabled (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551744)

Are there any pictures of what's happening at mile 7? The tracking system shows Wrecker 1 moving to that location.

No new vehicle has started for some time now. Teams were supposed to start at 5-minute intervals, but only seven teams have started and we're 90 minutes into the race. Is there a jamup near the start, too?

10 miles now (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551769)

SciAutronics II seems to be advancing anyway, despite being disabled. Is this the beginning of the end???

Doom at 7 miles? (1)

74Carlton (129842) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551766)

It looks like the top two teams have already been disabled at the 7 mile mark. "Disabled" has a specific meaning in this race, it means that the judges have pulled the plug on them continuing (via radio control), not that they neccesarily suffered a particular mechanical or system failure. This assumes that the status board is reporting information correctly, blah blah blah. Can anyone watching the satelite feed confirm?

SciAutonics II disabled, but moving (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551773)

SciAutonics II is listed as "disabled", but it has advanced from 7 to 10 miles and shows green on the tracking diagram. Are they in or out?

Re:SciAutonics II disabled, but moving (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8551788)

It just changed from 11 back to 7. Probably just an update glitch.

Re:SciAutonics II disabled, but moving (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551803)

Now they're back to mile 7 and still disabled, so apparently they're dead.

6 Disabled, 3 Running, and 1 Withdrawn, (1)

AZPolarBear (661815) | more than 10 years ago | (#8551813)

SciAutonics II is at 11 miles and still labelled as disabled.

Now it's back at 7 miles. (Must have been the tow truck. :-)

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