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 092005
 

Although there have been many advances in machine vision, most relatively simple robots are still not able to maneuver around objects at high speeds because they are unable to quickly judge their distance from the objects. In order to tackle this problem researchers from Stanford University have developed a new algorithm that many said was impossible: it will allow robots to calculate distances from a single, still image. The algorithm was developed by a team led by computer science Assistant Professor Andrew Ng and was presented at the Neural Information Processing Systems Conference held in Vancouver this week.

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Nov 082005
 

It has long been perceived by scientists and non-scientists alike that women and men process and react to humor in different ways. Now researchers from the Center for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences Research at Stanford University School of Medicine have neurological evidence to back that theory up. NewScientist.com has a summary of their study that is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. While humor was the focus, their findings may lead to breakthroughs regarding other emotional differences between the sexes and even mental illnesses that target one gender over another.

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Oct 232005
 

Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells

On Thursday of last week the FDA approved the first transplant of fetal stem cells into human brains. The first recipients will be children who suffer from a rare and fatal genetic disorder, but if the procedure is successful it could be the first step in making great strides toward treating, curing, and possibly preventing several more common different neurological diseases.

The procedures will be performed by doctors at Stanford University Medical Center on six children suffering from Batten disease. Batten disease is a fatal genetic disease of the nervous system that begins in childhood. The inflicted suffer from visual problems, mental impairment, and seizures, leaving them blind, bedridden, and demented. Most die in their late teens or early twenties.

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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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