DARPA Grand Challenge PR Problems

Posted 30 Oct 2003 at 15:26 UTC by steve Share This

The DARPA Grand Challenge has generated a lot of interest and there are now over 100 teams preparing robots. Most of them are in for a shock when they find out DARPA has decided that only 20 robots will be allowed to enter. An editorial over at has more details as well as transcript of a letter DARPA sent to one of the Grand Challenge Teams about the issue.

Boycott, posted 30 Oct 2003 at 17:44 UTC by blueeyedpop » (Master)

This competition seems "thrown together" from the very beginning. Personally, If I were involved, I would either organize a boycott, or a class action suit.

Arbitrary restrictions, posted 30 Oct 2003 at 20:24 UTC by motters » (Master)

I'm not involved with the DARPA grand challenge, but if I was I'd be pretty pissed off by that. If I thought I was being treated in an unfair or arbitrary manner I'd just take my technology to another country and market it there instead. I'm sure they must be just as interested in autonomous navigation for military vehicles in europe/china/russia/australia.

uh oh, posted 31 Oct 2003 at 13:40 UTC by jiggersplat » (Journeyer)

you better watch out or john ashcroft is gonna getcha!

Well, how about our own mini Robo-Cross contests?, posted 3 Nov 2003 at 12:32 UTC by earlwb » (Master)

My early gut feelings weren't good for this Darpa event, but we could start holding our own mini-Darpa like outdoor robot contests. Something that covers an area less than a football field in size would work nicely. Simply the judges would take three or four GPS readings as marker checkpoints for the course to run, and the robots would start at the default start point (the imaginary 5th reading). Then travel though to each GPS location and return to the start. There can be hills, curbs, starirs, sidewalks, maybe even water traps, to traverse to acomplish the goals.This would accomplish everything that DARPA is looking for without hundreds of miles to travel. Besides people could watch this one much more easily. Plus we could afford to build one of these robots without taking out a third mortgage or getting sponsors.

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