CMU gets robotics grant
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Carnegie Mellon University's Tartan Racing team will receive up to $1 million to build a robotic vehicle for the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge -- a competition during which vehicles must complete a 60-mile mission through urban traffic while obeying traffic laws.
CMU's team was one of 11 the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency chose from a pool of 60 to receive funding. Track B teams can apply by Oct. 13 but cannot receive funding.
Tartan Racing will use technology and write software to transform two Chevrolet Tahoes, donated by General Motors, into robotic vehicles that can travel without human assistance on a simulated military supply mission through a mock urban area.
Challenges will include "merging into moving traffic, navigating traffic circles, negotiating busy intersections and avoiding obstacles," a DARPA news release states.
There are preliminary qualifiers with the main event scheduled for Nov. 3, 2007, in a yet-undisclosed Western state.
In DARPA's 2004 Grand Challenge, CMU's robotic vehicle traveled the farthest -- 7.6 miles -- through a desert, but failed to go the minimum 100 miles.
Last October, CMU finished second in the desert challenge, 11 minutes behind the Stanford University team.
DARPA said the competition encourages enthusiasts to develop technology that someday will "protect the lives of American men and women on the battlefield."
First Published October 3, 2006 12:00 am