Nov 282016
 

Minority Report

Set 38 years in the future, the plot of 2002’s blockbuster film Minority Report revolves around Washington DC’s PreCrime unit, a police force who able to stop future murders from happening with the aid of three mutant human who are able to predict homicides before they happen.  Minority Report managed to side step the “psychic predicts a murder” cliché storyline with its innovative use of technology: not only could precogs predict future murders, but their visions could be streamed via a neural bridge in the form of a video that the police officers could watch. Fantastical? Nope, and researchers from MIT already have a jump on the technology.

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Feb 152006
 
Stanley the Stanford University Volkswagen

Stanley the Stanford University Volkswagen

Fresh off their 1st place finish at Darpa’s Grand Challenge 2005 and not content to rest on their laurels, the robotics experts from Stanford University have announced their next goal is to develop an autonomous vehicle capable of driving from San Francisco City Hall to downtown Los Angeles, at highway speeds no less! Gizmodo.com has a summary today of an article published last weekend by the Palo Alto Online News revealing this ambitious goal. Sebastian Thrun, director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab, spoke with the publication recently offering some insight into Stanley’s fate and the direction of Stanford’s robot vehicle development program.

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Dec 082005
 

NASA logo

As part of their Centennial Challenge program to “stimulate innovation and competition in solar system exploration,” NASA has announced two new contests for private developers of space robotic vehicles. The Planetary Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Challenge involves building a craft that can fly autonomously and navigate using only optical navigation technologies. The Telerobotic Construction Challenge is to develop remote-controlled robots able to assemble a structure from individual building blocks strewn across an arena. The prize for each contest is $250,000.

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Oct 092005
 
Stanley the Stanford University Volkswagon

Stanley the Stanford University Volkswagon

The results of Grand Challenge 2005 are in, and Stanley the Volkswagon is the winner! Developed by a team from Stanford University, Stanley was able to complete the 132 mile course through the Mojave Desert in 6 hours and 53 minutes beating 3 other vehicles that were able to make it to the finish line within the 10 hour deadline. A fifth vehicle finished the course but not in time.

Second and third place were both captured by the Carnegie Mellon Red Team. Sandstorm, the Humvee that actually traveled the furthest last year, finished second, and H1ghlander, the Hummer that started in the pole position finished third. Rounding out the group of vehicles completing the challenge on time was Kat-5, a Ford Escape hybrid, designed by a team of students from Louisiana who suffered a severe set back last month when Hurricane Katrina struck, destroying many of their homes and making it impossible for them to practice.

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Oct 062005
 

Carnegie Mellon H1ghlanderThe Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, aka DARPA, announced the 23 finalists who have been chosen to compete in this year’s Grand Challenge, a race between autonomous robotic vehicles over a grueling course of up to 175 miles in the Mojave Desert. A red Hummer named H1ghlander developed by a team from Carnegie Mellon University has qualified for the pole position in this year’s race. It will be competing against vehicles of all shapes and sizes including a a Jeep Grand Cherokee, a Volkswagen Touareg, and a six-wheeled truck sponsored by other schools and private companies.

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