Angels driving the bot

October 29, 2007 (0010 hrs), VICTORVILLE, CA. If you do not believe in angels, this should make you a convert. After looking at the data from Area A test we are completely stumped why CajunBot did not ram into the traffic vehicles. She came quite close to running over some of the cars. But she always stopped, just short.Here is a video of the test run on YouTube

Looking from outside, she looked like just an aggressive driver with little respect for other drivers. But cautious enough to brake at the right time.

But having looked through the data, it comes as a surprise that she avoided any vehicle at all. While she did not have a human driver, she sure looks she was bring driven by an angel.

Christopher Mire, the unassuming and quiet graduate student on the team, patiently trudged through the loads and loads of data collected by CajunBot, looking for an explanation for her aggressive behavior. His conclusion the vehicle was running WITHOUT its primary sensors, the Ibeo and SICK lidars. The physical sensors themselves were working, but our program that analyzes the sensor data to identify objects in the world had crashed. And by crashed it means, the program was not running. The sensors were generating data, but there was no program using the data. For most practical purposes, CajunBot was running blind.

CajunBot was running on her secondary sensors, the radars, two of which were acquired and mounted after we came to Victorville, CA.

It just cannot be a happenstance that we acquired two radars after arriving in Victorville, CA and those lidars save the bot from total destruction. There must be an angel watching over CajunBot.

Christopher has diagnosed the reason for the crash. When we run the bot in Cajun Field, a wide open parking lot, CajunBot sees a very few (between 50 and 100) objects. Our obstacle detection and tracking system was configured to track 100 obstacles. But in the test area, an abandoned air base, there is a lot of clutter, The area has buildings, trees, bushes, and other traffic. As a result the sensors see about 500 obstacles. This exceeds the max limit of 100 programmed into the system, and our obstacle detection program simply crashes.

The fix for this problem is rather simple, and has now been taken care of.

– Arun Lakhotia

11 Responses to “Angels driving the bot”

  1. I am glad that nothing bad happened.

  2. You guys are amazing. Angels or no, the youtube video is just utterly fantastic. You should all be proud of all your hard work, because everyone at home is very, very proud of you. Arun, thanks for keeping the blog updated so your fans at home can follow all the latest. Good luck! GO CAJUNBOT!!

  3. Well, I do believe in Angels, but I also believe in the power of your preparations and positive attitudes in keeping you on track. Congratulations on a successful day yesterday. Keep it up! Jay (John H.) doesn’t have time to write, so tell him his mom loves him, and we are so proud of the WHOLE team! Louise

  4. Emily Duhon says:

    The youtube video is just great! There are alot of Cajun angels praying for you…….Good Luck

  5. The youtube video was absolutely fantastic to watch. Congratulations on a successful run! Good luck to the entire team!

  6. Murali says:

    That video was amazing. Congrats to everyone for a good run.

  7. I just got home and I was able to watch the video. It was awesome. I loved it.

  8. I hope everything goes better these last few days for you guys. The Industrial Design guys are rootin for you! Of course we will keep an ear to the web for updates.

  9. sujata says:

    Test drive is awesome. I am little disappointed by the sound it\’s producing! Isn’t it possible to make it noise proof. all the best. Hi chandu! congratulations!

  10. Doris Mejia says:

    The team is what is most amazing. Reading the blogs, you get a real sense of the incredible efforts and spirits of every member of the team. We are so proud of y’all! Thank you, Arun, for keeping us posted with your detailed blogs. Go team!

  11. The video was awesome. Really gets you pumped up! Keep up the good work guys. Whoohoo! Go team!

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