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back to article Living with robots: The $3.5m DARPA Urban Challenge

Well, here I am at the crack of dawn getting ready for DARPA's Urban Challenge - the $3.5m robotic race of the century. 5:12 a.m.The hard-working hacks, if you will, were up at 4 in the morning for this shindig. DARPA decided to torture us with a 4:30 a.m registration and 5 a.m media briefing. Only, as it turns out, DARPA …

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Black Helicopters

surely

that should be diary of a meatbag?

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$21m to prep for $3.5m prize

Does anyone else think this is rather strange. Surely if your going to spend $21m to prep the site and god knows how much more on salaries and other expenses not directly related to preping the site you could have spread a bit more around for those actualling proding the product.

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Alert

Delivery drivers redundant within 10 years?

And maybe even some cool total recall style "Jonny Cabs" too. Of course for safety purposes in the event of a crash the cabs couldn't lock you in so they'd need to be equipped with a T-100 incase you decide to screw the fair and leg it :D

do-de-do do-de-do do-de-de-dud-dud-dooo

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Coat

Title

Watched the streaming video- they can't even drive on the correct side of the road!

/coat/"Jonny Cab"/bye

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what are the missions?

I've had this feed running in the background most of the day. It's interesting but a bit lacking in detail - they have 3 missions split into sub-missions, but no information is around to say exactly what these sub-missions involve. The only obvious one is the parking which would be a bit more entertaining if the car park actually had any other cars parked in it.

I wonder whether the MIT team will lose points on power consumption - the sensors and cluster are consuming about 3.5 kW which is a bit ridiculous when some of the other competitors are managing on a couple of quad cores.

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Alert

It's worse than we thought

I watched some of the coverage and almost fell out my chair as one the cars seems to be called SKYNET!

When they do not even feel the need to hide anymore then our doom is surely upon us. The machines are rising!

Grab your kevlar coat and get to the pub before its to late!

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Thumb Up

Power consumption

"I wonder whether the MIT team will lose points on power consumption - the sensors and cluster are consuming about 3.5 kW which is a bit ridiculous when some of the other competitors are managing on a couple of quad cores."

A car has no trouble putting that out actually.

You can install microwaves and TVs and things in cars. I used to work at a horse trailer dealership and the company that did truck customization offered all kinds of shit like that.

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Well waddyaknow

The robots can drive and signal better than most of the drivers here in Hamilton.

Seriously looking forward to robotic cars so that all the morons can get one and leave the human-controlled vehicles to those of us with sufficient skills and intellect to gain a motorcycle licence. At least we'll be able to predict the robots and trust they'll use their turn signals appropriately.

Finally the morons will be able text/read newspapers/apply their makeup whilst on their way to work (as they do now in manually-controlled cars) without endangering the rest of us.

As to "Johnny cabs": wire them so the doors lock when the speed drops to a safe level - no money, no get out of cab...

Dunno about using T100 series units as fare enforcement - the T101 looks eerily similar to someone renowned for damaging the cabs...

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Anonymous Coward

Johnny cabs...

"As to "Johnny cabs": wire them so the doors lock when the speed drops to a safe level - no money, no get out of cab..."

It would be better to request a credit card before starting and only give it back (with the right amount of money removed) when the cab arrives at the destination. In case the passanger gets out eary, the card left in the terminal could still identify him.

Anyway, these cars still couldn't handle traffic lights and the standard confusing signal and sign layouts. The technology is currently only usable on in urban combat situations. (which is just what the us army needs)

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@Anon

"Anyway, these cars still couldn't handle traffic lights and the standard confusing signal and sign layouts. "

Nor can most of the dickheads driving in Hamilton.

The difference is: The robot control systems are likely to improve while the dickheads are going to continue believing they're excellent drivers despite all evidence to the contrary.

The seeds are here - marry these robo cars to the object recognition software that Evolution Robotics hope to use to enable toys to chase kids around the house, and you'll pretty soon have a robot car only marginally more dangerous than a small-dicked boy racer

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