Carnegie Mellon's Red Team to Unveil Robot Vehicle That Will Compete in $1 Million Desert Race for Robots

Byron SpiceMonday, January 5, 2004


Unveiling Sandstorm, Carnegie Mellon University's Red Team entry in the $1 million DARPA Grand Challenge, an unmanned, off-road race for robots that will take place March 13, 2004. Sandstorm will be competing against a field of 19 other robots for a $1 million cash prize as it travels 210 tortuous miles from Barstow, Calif., through the Mojave Desert to Las Vegas, Nevada, on its own. Competitors will learn the race route only two hours before it begins at 6 a.m. PST. Once it starts, no human intervention is allowed. The robots must sense, plan and make the strategic decisions necessary to drive the course and beat the competition. They'll have 10 hours to reach their goal. The team whose robot finishes first in the allotted time will receive the prize. Join the Red Team, directed by Carnegie Mellon Fredkin Research Professor William L. Whittaker, in collaboration with his students, colleagues and corporate partners as they show how Sandstorm works and tell about what it takes to develop such a vehicle. Sandstorm will be taken to the Mojave Desert sometime in January where it will be tested, raced and shaken down as the team continues to prepare for the Grand Challenge. It will not be returning to Pittsburgh until after the race.

When: 11 a.m., Tuesday, January 6, 2004.

Where: Planetary Robotics Building, Carnegie Mellon campus. Enter the campus from Frew Street and bear left down the driveway between Hamerschlag and Roberts Hall. You will pass Wean Hall on your right. Newell-Simon will be to the left. The Planetary Robotics Building will be the yellow building on your left as you pass the back of Newell-Simon Hall. Please RSVP to Anne Watzman for parking information.

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Byron Spice | 412-268-9068 |