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posted on Mar, 14 2004 @ 11:24 PM
Thought somebody might want to follow this

Robot Builders Have Eyes on the Prize

The Pentagon is putting up a $1 million prize for any team that can build a robotic vehicle capable of navigating a tough desert course in under 10 hours without any form of human guidance. But teams competing in the "Grand Challenge" this week are also in the hunt for potentially huge government contracts tied to high-tech innovations in autonomous vehicle design.

The Grand Challenge, being held in the rough landscape of the Mojave Desert, has tempted amateur techie and engineering squads as well as teams backed by major government contracting players (Boeing, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, to name a few). The contest is the brainchild of the Pentagon's research arm, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and, win or lose, the whittled-down list of teams competing this weekend all are hoping to catch the eyes of military experts.

"For military researchers, the contest is no joke. Congress wants one-third of ground vehicles used in combat to be autonomous by 2015,

posted on Mar, 14 2004 @ 11:28 PM
Thats gonna be a toughie. At least the millitary has figured out that getting other people to do the research for you is cheaper.

posted on Mar, 15 2004 @ 01:03 AM
Whoops, it's over

SciAutonics I, "RASCAL." from Thousands Oaks, Calif. starts the race Saturday, March 13, 2004, near Barstow, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes) - click to enlarge.

BARSTOW, Calif. (AP) -- Looks like we won't be seeing any robot driver's licenses issued anytime soon. All 15 self-navigating vehicles in a 150-mile race across the Mojave Desert were knocked out within a few miles of the starting gate Saturday, victims of technical glitches, barbed-wire fences and rugged terrain.

None could claim the $1 million prize offered by a military agency seeking to develop autonomous vehicles that could be used in combat.

posted on Mar, 15 2004 @ 01:23 AM
Oh no. Maybe in another 30 years

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