Monday, June 06, 2005

DARPA Grand Challenge - SemiFinalists Announced

DARPA has selected the 40 semifinalist teams which will be competing in the 2005 Grand Challenge. All of the eight teams previously profiled here have been selected compete.

Congratulations to all of the Semifinalists and I hope all of the others keep on working to complete their machines. Hopes are high that several of the teams will be able to complete the course this Fall.

Even after the prize is won, robotic racing may emerge as a competitive sport much as robotic fighting leagues have sprouted up all around the country.

The winning teams are listed below:

A.I. Motorvators

Autonomous Vehicle Systems

Autonosys

Axion Racing

BJB Engineering

Blue Team

CIMAR

CyberRider

Desert Buckeyes

Gray Team

Indiana Robotic Navigation

Indy Robot Racing Team

Insight Racing

Intelligent Vehicle Safety Technologies I 

Mojávaton

MonsterMoto

Oregon WAVE

Palos Verdes High School  Road Warriors

Red Team

Red Team Too

SciAutonics/Auburn Engineering

Stanford Racing Team

Team AION

Team Banzai

Team CajunBot

Team Caltech

Team Cornell

Team DAD

Team ENSCO

Team Jefferson

Team Juggernaut

Team Overbot

Team TerraMax

Team Tormenta

Team UCF

Terra Engineering

The Golem Group / UCLA

The MITRE Meteorites

Virginia Tech Grand Challenge Team

Virginia Tech Team Rocky



"The high quality of vehicle performance that we witnessed during the site visits is truly impressive," said DARPA Director Dr. Anthony Tether. "We are thrilled with the sheer excitement about developing autonomous ground vehicles that the Grand Challenge has sparked among people from all walks of life. It was difficult to winnow the field from the 118 great teams to only 40 - the competition was tough."

20 or 22( some groups entered several vehicles this year) of the SemiFinalists competed in the 2004 Grand Challenge giving them a huge lead in time and experience over the rest of the field. But from reviewing a number of the submissions this time around, it looks to me like many of the newbies have somterrificic machines which will give the more seasoned competitors a run for their money.

Now that the field has been narrowed, Robots Next plans to provide a detailed review of each teams offering before the big race October 8th.

P.S. For those of you interested in getting into the technical details, DARPA hosts a lively discussion board covering all aspectes of the vehicles and control system design.