Robot Race Ruined
A $1 million race across the Mojave Desert by driverless robots ended Saturday after all 15 entries either broke down or withdrew, a race official said.
Two of the entries covered about seven miles of the roughly 150-mile course while eight failed to make it to the one-mile mark. Others crashed seconds after starting.
The race ended after about four hours when the final competitors were disabled, said Col. Jose Negron, race program manager. Competitors suffered a variety of problems that included stuck brakes, broken axles, rollovers and malfunctioning satellite navigation equipment.
One six-wheeled robot built by a Louisiana team was disqualified after it became entangled in barbed wire.
Ã¢€œItÃ¢€™s a tough challenge Ã¢€” itÃ¢€™s a grand challenge Ã¢€” you can always bet that itÃ¢€™s not doable. But if you donÃ¢€™t push the limits, you canÃ¢€™t learn,Ã¢€ Ensco Inc. engineer Venkatesh Vasudevan told The Associated Press shortly after his companyÃ¢€™s entry rolled onto its side several hundred yards from the starting gate.
I guess we’re not ready to replace infantrymen with robots just yet.