Wednesday, May 03, 2006

DARPA Ups the Ante With Latest Challenge

Fresh from the stunning success of their first Challenge, DARPA(Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency-essentially the US government military gear lab) is now pushing for a robot vehicle that can dodge other drivers, obey traffic laws and find its way through twisty-turning city streets.
This latest Challenge is set for 2007, but word has been spreading around the 'Net for months. Ever since DARPA essentially "self-leaked" it in a survey e-mail sent to earlier contestants.

When DARPA set their first challenge, it was incredible that teams even finished. But they learned from their mistakes; they were driven and aggressive. They enjoyed the challenge of achieving success, just for the spirit of it.

It seems likely the next set of challengers--everyone from Cal-tech to MIT to Stanford (last year's winner) to anybody with the brains and guts to give it a try--will amaze us as well.

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