On the road to robot race

News.com: On the road to robot race 

October 4 2007 11:08 AM PDT

Team CajunBot based in Lafayette La. is a group of students and faculty from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The team retired CajunBot its six-wheeled vehicle that was a finalist in the two previous Grand Challenges and replaced it with Ragin'Bot a modified Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.

Little did anyone know Team CajunBot didn't have any robotics experience before it entered the first race in 2004. The team has 11 core members plus another 6 roving helpers. Sponsored by sensor maker Ibeo Hewlett-Packard and the University of Lafayette among others the team's total budget for the 2007 race has been $350 000.

"Our biggest sponsor is the community of Acadiana. We are blessed with the support. We can walk into any store and people throw in free goodies or discounts " said Arun Lakhotia one of the team's members.

Team CajunBot is tackling the same problems as other teams: planning driving communications and the right hardware. But it considers the challenge primarily a software engineering one as opposed to a mechanical engineering electrical engineering or signal processing problem. "So our approach to overall problem solving is different. We have developed a virtual environment (like a computer game environment) to perform the majority of the testing " Lakhotia said.

Credit: Team CajunBot

Additional information