CajunBot continues in qualifying

Finalists will be named Thursday

October 29 2007
The Daily Advertiser

VICTORVILLE Calif. - After a few roadblocks during Saturday's qualifying round of the Department of Defense's 2007 Urban Challenge Team CajunBot spent the night in the field. The sleepless night paid off Sunday.

The 12:30 p.m. qualifying round Sunday had CajunBot II finishing 13 laps without swapping paint with the five other moving vehicles on the track - a feat not many bots were able to perform.

"These guys are amazing " Dr. Arun Lakhotia team leader said in a news release. "Some of them are working on no sleep and others only got about two hours of sleep last night. CajunBot II's great run today is a result of their continuous dedication to this project."

On Saturday the bot struggled with a course of intersection right-of-ways and eventually paused.

The team packed into a makeshift lab - inside the trailer that transported CajunBot II - to analyze video from the bot. Adjustments were made and on Saturday the bot performed almost flawlessly.

Bright and early this morning CajunBot II will have to park and perform other driving maneuvers in its last qualifying event.

Finalists are expected to be announced Thursday. The top 20 teams from the 35 semifinalists will compete against one another on Nov. 3.

Bots will have to travel in a city setting - obeying all California traffic laws - at the former George Air Force Base.

The first team to finish the race will receive $2 million with second receiving $1 million and third $500 000.

This is the third Grand Challenge put forth by the DOD's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Team CajunBot has participated in all three races.

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