Riderless Motorcycle to Compete in DARPA Challenge

This image was lost some time after publication.
This image was lost some time after publication.

The kids from UC Berkeley have emerged from their underground laboratory, la "Real Genius," with a robotic motorcycle called the Ghostrider (clever, the slide-rule set). The riderless bike was picked to run in this year's DARPA Grand Challenge, an annual test of autonomous vehicle technology in the form of a race through the California / Nevada desert. Participants' vehicles range from two-wheelers (e.g., this one) to military-grade transporters, though last year's event resulted in a techno stalemate worthy of its own Law of Malfunctioning Junk. This year, the UCB team hopes for a more favorable outcome. They hooked a Byzantine collection of interconnected e-spaghetti to the bike, including gyro-mounted cameras to avoid obstacles, a color vision system to find a route and follow it, and Y2K-grade coding to get all the hardware to talk to each other (check out the videos on the team's site). The DARPA prize is $2 million, plus the possibility of scoring enough primo Pentagon Pork to keep the team in Treos and Ramen noodles for the next 1,000 years.

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The riderless motorcycle [We Make Money Not Art]

Related:
Rat Fink Goes DARPA: The A.I. Motorvators Team; Inside VW's Hush-Hush SiliValley Facility [internal]

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