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CajunBot Team honors members, community sponsors

August 12 2008
The Daily Advertiser

Leaders of Team CajunBot and university officials lauded team members and sponsors during an awards ceremony at the Advanced Computer Technology and Research building on campus today.

The team most recently was one of 10 featured in the Discovery Science channel’s five-part series “Robocars.”

In 2004, 2005 and 2007, team members built two autonomous vehicles which competed in the Department of Defense’s challenges which pitted driverless vehicles against one another in on a desert course and city streets. The first two challenges featured CajunBot – a six-wheeled all-terrain vehicle. In 2007, team members showcased CajunBot II - a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.

Awards were given out in three categories including:

Red Brass Team Members: Trouble Arnold, Adrian Aucoin Jr., Firas Bouz, Rochelle Brasseaux, Joshua Bridevaux, Charles Cavanaugh, Muralidar Chakravarthi, Ronald Cheek, Russ Danna, Adam Dupre, Daro Eghagha, Suresh Golconda, Dallas Griffith, Joshua Hargrave, John Herpin, Arun Pratap Indugula, Nitin Jyoti, Arun Lakhotia, Patrick Landry, Chris Ledet, Adam Lewis, Anthony Maida, Danny Majors, Mark McKelvy, Chris Meaux, Pablo Mejia, Christopher Mire, Santhosh Padmanabhan, Prashant Pathak, Amit Puntambekar, Jonathan Raush, Ryan Rucker, Gunasekaran Seetharaman, Mike Speers, Chandan Uddaraju, Christopher Vaughn, Vidhya Venkitakrishnan and Scott Wilson.

Red Brass Sponsors: U.S. National Wetlands Research Center, Hewlett-Packard, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Begnaud Manufacturing Inc., Broadpoint Inc., Pixus Digital Printing, Cain’s Auto Service, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, Honda of Lafayette, Cajun Off-Road, Espion International, SICK Inc., Ibeo Automobile Sensor GmbH, Iteris Inc., 2 the Max ATVs, Loretta Tauzin, Lark Chartier and Joey Pons.

Glass Awards: Lafayette Motors, Firefly Digital Inc., C&C Technologies, Brother Ray Majors, Quality Transport Inc., MedExpress Companies, Oxford Technical Solutions Ltd., Charles D. Cavanaugh and Arun Lakhotia.

Special MVP awards were given to Joshua Bridevaux, Pablo Mejia and Suresh Golconda. The “Hidden Hand” award was given to former UL Lafayette President Ray Authement.

“This team has done such outstanding work to have UL Lafayette counted amongst the elite engineering schools,” stated Arun Lakhotia, CajunBot's team leader. “They have worked incredibly hard, going 36 hours and even 50 hours without sleep. For the four years we have been going back to challenges, I didn’t have the time to look up and recognize their hard work. Now, it’s time to do that.”


UL's Team CajunBot featured on Discovery Science channel series tonight

July 14 2008
The Daily Advertiser

UL's autonomous vehicle, CajunBot II, and the team that created the technology that drives the robotic jeep will be featured in the Discovery Science channel series, Robocars, which premieres at 9 p.m. tonight.

The five-part series, Robocars highlights 10 teams which competed in the Department of Defense’s 2007 Urban Challenge in California last October.

The team will be introduced as part of the series tonight, but will be featured prominently in the July 21 episode, which also airs at 9 p.m.

The series continues on July 28 and Aug. 4. The series finale will air Aug. 12.

TV show to feature CajunBot

July 12 2008
The Daily Advertiser

The race may be over, but UL's Team CajunBot is still in the spotlight.

UL Team CajunBot will be featured in a Discovery Science Channel's series, Robocars, starting Monday and concluding on Aug. 12.

The five-part series highlights 10 teams which competed in the Department of Defense's 2007 Urban Challenge in California last October.

Last year, Marabella Productions of New York was here to follow the UL team on its journey to compete for the third time in the race.

Team CajunBot will be introduced in the Monday episode but will be featured prominently in the second episode set to air at 9 p.m. July 21. Episode 2 is expected to replay at midnight, 4 a.m., 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on July 22.

The team can also be seen in Episode 3 set to air at 9 p.m. July 28.

The series also follows teams from Stanford University in California, Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, Perrone Robotics in Virginia, Gray Matter Inc. in Metairie, Golem Group in California, Oshkosh in Wisconsin, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Case Western Reserve University in Ohio.

Subsequent episodes on July 28, Aug. 4 and 12 will follow teams as they qualify for the semi-finals and ultimately the final race in Victorville, California.

Team CajunBot made it to the semi-final rounds of the autonomous vehicle race but failed to qualify for the final race. Carnegie Mellon's Tartan Racing were the winners of the 2007 Urban Challenge.

The UL team's vehicle has evolved in the past three years. Initially, the team outfitted a six-wheeled, all-terrain vehicle for the first and second challenges. CajunBot II, a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, competed in the 2007 Urban Challenge.

Suresh Golconda ‘vrooms’ ahead

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Hindu

Andhra Pradesh

His team, which developed a car which runs without a driver, would be featured in the Discovery channel shortly



Brilliant feat: Suresh Golconda with the model car which participated in the Darpa race.

HYDERABAD: Imagine yourself pitted against top researchers of ‘artificial intelligence’ from various American universities and standing up to their challenge.

To make a full-scale model car run without a driver is no mean task and to compete with other such models engineered by brainiest of them all is one heck of a challenge.

Facing up to such challenges and holding his own, a PhD scholar doing research in artificial intelligence at Louisiana University, Suresh Golconda, who is back for a while in his native Hyderabad, says that it was an opportunity of a lifetime.

His team, which participated in the recently held Darpa race, a Pentagon-supported race to develop self-directed full-scale vehicles, had reached semi-finals.

The team competed with the likes of Stanford University, whose research on the subject is considered to be path-breaking.

“The organisers introduced new rules this year that says that roads could be partially blocked; so we had to modify our system at the last moment before the race actually started. This was a very good experience for me so that I can perform better in the next year’s race,” Mr. Suresh informed.

His team would be featured in the Discovery channel shortly.

“The Discovery team spent a week with us and recorded our work. It would be telecast soon.

Apart from that, in some way or the other I am willing to spread the knowledge to students here. I am talking with several people and even Government agencies and hopefully something good will come out before I head back to the U.S.,” Mr. Suresh explained.

After completing his under-graduation at Muffakhamjah Engineering College, Mr. Suresh pursued his masters and PhD at Louisiana University.

“Artificial intelligence is still at a nascent stage in India. So, I had to move out to learn the tricks of trade. The car developed by our team has the potential to perform better than a normal individual, when faced with sudden obstructions while driving,” Mr. Suresh added.

Blanco in town Thursday to honor Team CajunBot

November 7 2007
The Daily Advertiser

Governor Blanco will be on UL’s campus at 11 a.m. Thursday to honor UL’s Team CajunBot.

The team ceremony will be at 11 a.m.

For the third time the team and its autonomous vehicle was selected to compete in the Department of Defense’s race of driverless vehicles.

The team recently returned from this year’s competition though their new bot CajunBot II didn’t make it through the qualifying rounds for the race. This year’s winner was Tartan Racing of Pittsburgh. Stanford’s Racing Team and Virginia Tech’s team took second and third place.

For more information about this year’s challenge visit

Additional information