Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Pentagon Seeks Robots for $1 Million Race

The Defense Department said it was offering $1 million cash prize to the winner of a planned robot vehicle race between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

The Grand Challenge, scheduled to take place on Feb. 28, 2004, is intended to spur development of technologies that could be used by the U.S. military.

The course will feature both on-road and off-road segments and will include extremely rugged terrain and obstacles, DARPA said on its Web site ( It said the vehicles must be unmanned and autonomous, not remotely driven.

I can beat'em
All computing and intelligence must be contained onboard. Apart from an emergency stop feature, automatic communication at checkpoints and Global Positioning System signals, no external communication will be allowed.

The prize will go to the team whose vehicle completes the course first, provided it also beats a pre-set maximum time limit, DARPA said without specifying the cut-off point.

Anyone want to enter the Iron Giant?

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