DARPA Grand Challenge Photos

Well, today was the first day for DGC inspections and qualifying runs. Team Caltech is currently in the lead. In fact, only two teams managed to get their 'bots off of the starting line. Palos Verdes High School was the other team that managed to do at least part of the qualifying course. Team Caltech was doing beautifully until we ran into a wall two-thirds of the way through. Turns out that the portion of the code that puts the 'bot in reverse to back out of a cul-de-sac was commented out late last night while testing (DOH!). Anyway, we’re pretty confident that we’ll make it through our second run on Wednesday. The Red Team showed up and worked on their 'bot all day. Hopefully we’ll get to see them run tomorrow. As things were kinda frantic today, I only got to take a few photos. I’ll try to get some more tomorrow.


Here’s Bob (Team Caltech’s entry) just out of the starting gate:


Here’s Bob doin’ his thing:


Red Team’s 'bot:



Ohio State’s Entry (this bad-boy is waaay over the top):



Man that last one is totally awesome. But I guess yours moves so that is what counts. We’ll be out there on Wednsday at about 10:30 AM on our way to Phoenix.

Do you know if there’s a webcast anywhere? or a central web site with pics/updates?

I have no idea what DARPA has planned. You might check their website.


Wow, there were only 3 entries? I would’ve assumed many more people would have gotten in on that. Good luck to you guys! I hope Bob does awesome!

No, there are over twenty teams.


Dude, those are awesome. I think I saw something on the news about this. Is that true or no. It might have been something different. Anyway, those are awesome

What is team Caltech doing for gas storage? I didn’t see any large tanks or anything. Is the stock tank enough? Also, if the engine dies, do you have automatic restart attempts? Last, did you modify the suspension at all. Also, I’m curious of how it shifts (what type of linkage and actuator).

Looks awesome, If they have anything about it like webcasts or anything it would be during the weekend that we compete. :frowning:

Well, it’s optimistic, but we do have an aux. fuel tank that can be switched under computer control.


Yes, it’s been lifted four inches and we have some very cool kevlar lined B.F. Goodrich tires (the same ones used on military humvees).

We’re using an UltraMotion linear stepper motor that handles the shifting.


The Miracle Workerz (Team 365) and I give our full support to Team Virginia Tech. On Team Virginia Tech, there are 2 Miracle Workerz Alumni from our rookie year (2000), who are also sons of engineers on our team. This is a great example of how FIRST prepares you for real world engineering problem. From a robot which scoops balls and hangs under human control to one that navigates the desert autonomously, it is a natural progression.

Good Luck to Team Caltech and all the other teams as well. I sincerely hope that someone succeeds in this task. It is a great test of American ingenuity; one I am sure we will pass.

Kevin, if you have any pictures of the Virginia Tech team and their robot “Cliff” could you please post them.

Good luck with the competition, guys! I can only imagine the fundraising for that project…some of those vehicles look like NASCAR Cars…:yikes:


Man I wanna do that so bad… I’m lookin at collages now and Caltech and Carnegie Mellon are lookin real good because they got DARPA entries…

Do you know if the CMU team is better after they rolled last week? It didn’t look good…

Wow! Awsome…

Good luck!!!


Does it bother anyone else that this is all run by DARPA? :frowning: Or have I read too much Vonegut? I do love the concept though.

Who else has the money and the desire to run something like this? :rolleyes:

There was a story on CNN headline news about a week ago about University of Louisiana - Lafayette’s entry.

My full support goes out to all of the participants (especially PV high, gonna have to root for the young guns).

There are all sorts of good news stories that I have seen about this. Those vehicles are so cool. They are sort of going to act like the rovers on Mars when the engineers tell them to go somewhere and take it’s on path to get there. I would love a webcast or other live footage, even if it is after the event.

Kevin, if you have any pictures of the Virginia Tech team and their robot “Cliff” could you please post them.

I found pics on their site here

I would also like to root for the young gun high schoolers and their Acura MDX named “Doom Buggy”. I do believe that they won’t win the competition, however, that team is just like FIRST teams. The students are all getting great hands-on knowledge and having fun in a competition. They are getting the inspiration that will hopefully lead them into the science and technology fields.

The media coverage of this has said that about 100 teams applied, but DARPA chose only 25 to compete, because they could not handle more than that.

Yes, the CMU folks pulled it together over the last three days and were completely operational (Their workarea is next to ours so we got to watch 'em work). CMU, on their first QID run, ran perfectly. We (Team Caltech) also ran a perfect QID run today. Friday afternoon we’ll move Bob to Barstow before the race on Saturday.


Do you know the particular route yet and where it takes you, and what kind of terrain there is on the route???I’m guessing it’s not just all flat terrain!

No, we won’t know until 4:00AM Saturday morning. Col. Negron (the head DARPA guy) said that the course will be very tough in last nights team meeting. I don’t think anyone will complete the race this year because this is a really, really tough problem.