CajunBot has a good start, but gets stuck in hay

Fontana, CA – CajunBot had her first NQE run today. The run started off very well. The bot went through cattle guard and gates (made from traffic cones). She cruised along straight stretches of roads, went up and down small hills, and took smooth curves.She also went through one section of track lined with bales of hay on both sides, and was doing well going through a second section which was narrower than the first. She was running very close to the boundary, and about five bales of hay before that track was to be completed, it ran into a bale. This put it out of balance, and as it tried to return to track, could not gain composure and went on the hay on the other side, this time climbing to the point its front and middle wheels were up in the air.

With three wheels in the air, CajunBot did not have enough traction to continue moving, and had to be disabled by the DARPA officials.

 Joshua guiding CB to Run 1
Photo by – Scott Wilson

 CB rolling in hay
Photo by – Scott Wilson

This was the first run. DARPA guarantees that each team will have ‘offer’ for at least two runs. With one run down, it leaves us with at least one more run.

Of the twenty teams that ran today, only six teams completed the track without any significant hitch. Other teams, like us, were either disabled due to running on obstacles or  did not attempt a run (losing a chance).

After the remaining 23 teams have completed their run, we get another round. At the pace DARPA is going, it looks like we may get a second run tomorrow.

Read more about the first day’s results at

— Arun Lakhotia

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