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Grand Challenge

  • Category :
  • technology and toys
  • September 24th, 2005


    Let me explain why this is so cool. For the longest time people have been trying to develop car that can drive itself. Darpa is espcially interested in that technology for obvious reasons. But since combat usually happen on rough terrians, the stuff that’s in your Mercerde wouldn’t work. (Mercede can drive itself? Yes. The commercial release was a watered down version call lane departure warning, originally developed in 1996 and runs on a 486. But I digressed).

    GPS system can get you to certain resolution, and is helpful on route planning, if the route is all mapped out. So you need to add in satellite imagery if there is no route at all, and process the image to pick a route. But that only give you certain resolution. So you go in, and built a stereo camera vision system to see the road condition. But the range is limited, and it can be blocked by dust. Laser can see through dust, but have a scanning cycle time. Morever, extreme contrast such as shadows can thorw it off. The variation of light intensity a dent is much less than that of a shadow, so you on board camera can only do so much. After the heavy computation to calculate the route, you need to know when to do replanning to anticipate what’s in front of you.

    After working on it for a few years, CMU produced this.

    Entry Filed under: technology,toys

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