UL team vehicle to keep going

CajunBot will continue in competition

UL's Team CajunBot has another shot at the Department of Defense's DARPA Grand Challenge a $2 million race that promotes autonomous vehicle research for the military.

The UL team is one of 36 selected as semifinalists that will move on to the race's National Qualifying Event Oct. 26-31. During those days teams will have to prove that their vehicles are ready for the race - a 60-mile mock urban military delivery mission on the training base in Victorville Calif.

It's the third year that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has held the Grand Challenge. It began as a way to foster private research of autonomous vehicles that could be used on military missions.

UL's team CajunBot competed in the past two races which were over a desert terrain.

This year's race is moved to an urban setting. The teams are charged to complete the 60-mile mission within six hours.

The first to finish will win $2 million. Second prize is $1 million and third is worth $500 000.

Last year five teams completed the desert race. Only one of last year's five finishers - Team Gray of Metairie - sits in the top five as a semifinalist Tether said during a live Webcast on Thursday.

Team CajunBot gathered in the computer science building to watch the Webcast together but a technical problem prevented them from seeing their team photo flash across the screen with the other semifinalists.

The delayed notification didn't dampen the accomplishment.

To learn more about the race visit www.darpa.mil/grandchallenge.

Team CajunBot's site is at www.cajunbot.com.

©The Lafayette Daily Advertiser
August 10 2007

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