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CMA Presents "Caltech Robotics and the Second DARPA Grand Challenge"

Thursday, February 16, 2006
4:45pm to 6:00pm
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JPL, von Karman Auditorium
Richard Murray (BS '85), Professor of Control and Dynamical Systems, Caltech,

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) created the "Grand Challenge" as a way to meet a congressional mandate to supply the armed forces with autonomous vehicles by the year 2015. The first of the DARPA-sponsored series of robotic races took place on March 13, 2004.

A veteran of last year's race, Team Caltech participated in the second DARPA Grand Challenge on October 8, 2005, which was held in Primm, Nevada. After completing approximately 8 miles of autonomous driving, Alice—a 2005 Ford E-350 van modified for off-road use—experienced some Global Positioning System (GPS) errors after passing under a power line that caused her to receive false data about the actual location of the "corridor" that defined the route. Though their entry did not finish the race, hardworking Team Caltech students got immense value out of the process of building a "brain on wheels."

Join us as Richard Murray discusses the challenges and satisfactions of doing robotic engineering and innovating within a fiercely competitive environment, as well as the lessons learned from the two Grand Challenges.

Dr. Murray received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering with honors from Caltech in 1985 and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in the same discipline from the University of California in 1988 and 1991, respectively. He is serving as one of the faculty advisors for Caltech's Grand Challenge entry.

This event is free. All members of the Campus and JPL communities and retirees are welcome.

For more information, please contact Michael Eastwood by phone at 818-354-9273 or by email at [email protected].