CNET News.com reports on and posts photos of Caltech's entrant for the DARPA Urban Challenge. This Ford E-350 van, named Alice, is rigged with GPS, LIDAR, and other sensors, the data from which is processed by Caltech's custom programming. The goal for Alice is to negotiate an urban course designated by DARPA without a driver. This Urban Challenge is a new twist on DARPA 2005 Grand Challenge, which ran through the desert. In the Urban Challenge, cars will have to follow basic street rules, like staying in their lanes and obeying traffic signs and signals. The race … Read more
So everyone's on the BYOB Bandwagon these days ~ not exactly a NEW concept...(oh, and that's Bring Your Own Bag to the supermarket, etc.). But let's step back and look at this...odds are most people are using those just to put them into their cars and drive them home. So sure we're saving the use of plastic bags, but they are still DRIVING.
What about those who walk? There are old-school options far more practical than just the usual bags...I think of the little old ladies when I was living in Milan, Italy, who … Read more
Need to take out a book depository? This U.S. Secret Service Urban Assault SUV should do the trick.
The GMC-mounted mini-gun accompanies the presidential cavalcade, at least here at home. Apparently it's not a welcome guest in some host countries. England, for instance, asked the prez to leave his miniguns at home. Note the rotating turret.
Where can you find some primo vintage desert footwear, a discussion of probability algorithms, and a solar-powered robotics operation? Why, it's Crave's slideshow of 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge entrants!
DARPA's 2005 Grand Challenge was a 132-mile Nevada desert race of autonomous vehicles. This year's Challenge is focused on urban operations--navigating a four-way intersection, performing pretty involved street driving moves--all without a human operator. How much time, manpower, equipment, research and programming does it take to teach a car how to drive itself? Read the story.
Seriously though, check out the boots on that dude from the … Read more
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg dropped by the Today show Tuesday morning to talk about cleaning up his city. No, it wasn't time for a get-tough-on-crime talk. Instead, he wants to make the urban air a little less noxious, and maybe give the fight against global warming a little more street-level cred.
Hizzoner used the morning news-and-lighter-fare show to say that by 2012, all of the city's taxis would be hybrid vehicles. "There's an awful lot of taxicabs on the streets of New York City, obviously"--13,000 licensed yellow cabs, 90 percent of them … Read more
Nothing says "Look at me" quite like a giant, multicolored video billboard perched above a city square. That's why advertisers are starting to adopt new LED technology that lets them blast their marketing messages your way--and why IT services companies like LG CNS are scrambling to become the providers of choice for the high-tech systems.
The South Korean company--the "consulting and solutions" (hence "CNS") arm of electronics giant LG--has been busy installing the systems from Guangzhou, the industrial hub of southern China, to Cairo to New York. CNET News.com has a photo … Read more
A group called "Switched On London" is trying out a cool new public art concept that's called "guerrilla lighting." Designed to raise "awareness of the power of lighting," guerrilla lighting involves a team creating "transient lighting designs" using various luminescent devices and color filters. They set it up, switch the lights on simultaneously when they hear the signal of an air horn, and photograph the lights. Then they turn 'em off and move on. The results, as this photo shows, are quite lovely. Why is all the cool stuff only in the U.K.? (… Read more
The island city-state of Singapore announced a contest to build a Terminator-style robot, able to operate in urban warfare environments independent of direct human control. That's right; no joystick.
Individuals, companies, universities and research institutes are invited to compete in what the country's Defense Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) calls the TechX Challenge. The autonomous robot DSTA has in mind would be an all-weather unit, able to negotiate stairs, use an elevator and generally move and shoot in a search-and-destroy mode without the aid of satellite navigation, just like a human soldier.
"Operation in urban areas represents … Read more