November 3, 2007 (0630 hrs), VICTORVILLE, CA – The Cajun Cookout was a big hit. In the words of Dr. Tether, DARPA Chief, “its better than last time.” The event was announced to be held at “Mid-day”, leaving enough flexibility for the cooks. By 11:30 there was a crowd gathering around. Some were circling the tent, coming back every few minutes to check if the food was served.The food also drew the stunt and race car drivers. One of them asked us about video footage of him desperately cutting out of CajunBot’s path. He was promptly named by Scott as Drama Queen. The video shows his car was far enough away. The Drama Queen went into defensive, explaining that he cannot guess what the robot will do, so he has to react early enough. Which is quite fair. But his name stuck nonetheless.
The cookout drew DARPA program managers, media crew, sponsors, and other teams. Food breaks barriers, especially as good as Brother Majors cooking.
The event also gave opportunity for the university’s PR crew Christine Payton and Eric Maron to hand out UL goodies. They had plenty to give away — UL pins, Ragin’Cajun spice (only university with its own branded spice), T-shirts, and all.
Charlie “the voice of DARPA” and also the biggest fan of our team almost did not get any crawfish. He had been busy with the practice runs. By the time he was free the crawfish was almost all gone, but for a scoop saved specially for him by Brother Majors.
– Arun Lakhotia