Day 8 - Closing Ceremony
The team was pretty down when we returned to the garage yesterday. But we pulled off a pretty major feat with the technology we deployed. From the beginning Scott and Doug have emphasized that this was not about the race. A special pu...
Day 7 - Our Final Run
Our run 5 showed lots of improvement, but not enough. The first gate was perfectly centered. Down the next straight leg there was no sign of the phantom obstacles from the lidar that had dogged or first two runs. We clipped the left c...
Day 7 - Bump Day
We're beginning to understand the mystery of our left bias on the course. It looks like the collision on the first day may have caused more damage than we realized. While the vehicle survived, the calibration of the instruments was affected...
Day 6 - Is Today the Day?
You wouldn't think it could get worse after yesterday. We're learning you should never count on that. Today it got worse.
Brad Snodgrass, and Vadim Gitman did their usual magic and got the new power steering pump installed in time t...
Day 5 - Our Third Run
We've made steady progress over the past few weeks. But not today. After improving in our second run, we took a step backwards in run 3 today.
The morning practice session didn't go well. We made a change in the navigat...
Day 4 - The Waiting Game
We got the results of the second qualification run, and it looks like we improved to about 17th. Because of the way they score the event, each competitor will keep the better of the first two runs. So we really can't tell where we are overall. But we f...
Day 3 - Not Too Soon
We had a much better qualifying run today. Our team motto is, "We don't want to peak too soon!" Our run took place early this morning at about 7:30am with the haze from the wildfires as the backdrop. IRV was quick out of the gate and ...
Day 2 - IRV's First Run
What a difference a day, and night, make! After very little shut eye for some of us, we re-grouped again this morning at 5:30am. We loaded the new software revisions developed overnight by 8:00 am, and were immediately notified by DARPA that we were up...
Day 1 - Opening Ceremonies
Our first full day of activity at the California Motor Speedway. Joy and Brandon escorted IRV down for the Opening Ceremony. DARPA lines all of the robotic vehicles up for a group photo. Take a look at the panoramic photo below... sim...
Arrival at California Speedway
More breakthroughs today as a result of the late night efforts of Scott, Doug, and Bob Monat.
We attempted to test until about 11:30 a.m., then turned IRV over to the mechanical team to strip it for transport. This involves putting the sma...
Prepared for qualifications
It all came together today. We were able to detect and navigate through multiple obstacles with no intervention. Threaded obstacles (going between two closely spaced obstacles) and sequential serpentines worked ok.
The Attitude and Heading Refe...
A very busy day
Finally got testing cooking today.
We now have 27 laptop computers in our 40-capacity rack. We also have about a dozen sophisticated instruments to initialize whenever we "boot the Jeep." Start-up is now an automated process, but it still
Four flat tires
Got a little bit of a late start with the regular schedule today. Doug was late because of a flat tire. (That?s four on the team in a week. These roads are tough.) He had scheduled a special test to be sure that we could hold enough brake pr...
LIDAR Testing Continues
We?re moving from Ontario to Victorville today. Cuts the drive time from two hours to one hour each way.
LIDAR testing continues. We?re making progress. ...
Succeeded with getting the LIDAR to report multiple obstacles.
IRV plays dodge
BIG day today. We got IRV to respond to random obstacles using our full complex system. It was a genuine team effort because so many pieces needed to be integrated. Afterwards, the team all stood in the road to let IRV dodge all of them. IRV wasn't per...
Light show from Vandenberg AFB
Testing and development are now shifting to a 20-hour cycle--sometimes 24). Overnight team starts testing at 5 a.m. Early team takes over at 10 a.m. and goes to about midnight. Late team starts about 1 p.m. and goes to 2 a.m. to 4 a.m.
Got a re...
Life at Basecamp
After staying up until 5 a.m. getting excellent results from our LIDARs, out LIDAR team is driving up to camp now. We have been improving our "baseline" accumulation of code every day. Today is a VERY BIG day because we hope to get several LIDARs worki...
Milestone with the LIDAR
Cool, clear, and dry weather--in the 70s. Competition for test time on the Jeep is stiff.
Started the day testing on the Vehicle Control System. We are now able to continue with accurate speed control, even if two of the three sources fail. Accu...
Jackets in the desert
Rained on and off all day. The cool temperatures require jackets. Occasional showers slow testing progress, but we?ve been able to clean up the cabling and software infrastructure. Late in the day, the LIDAR code finally gets going, but a configuration...
We had some GREAT progress today! We finally got "dead reckoning" working so that we can travel for miles even if we lose contact with GPS. We "drift" only 10 feet per 1/2 mile (which was our specified target) and we think we can improve...
High wind and dust devils for most of the day. Gusts to 50 mph. With the fine dust of this desert, it?s like living in a sand blaster. We had a real show late in the day. Thunderstorms coming in over the desert from LA. The sight shut work down on the ...
>Logistics is a big issue. The two hour drive makes it important that we have everyone accounted for before we leave.
A typical day has started to emerge: breakfast at 7:30, travel to the base camp, leave about 8:30, dinner at 10:30, bed by 11:30. ...
Our high desert base camp is taking shape. Best estimate is that it's 25 miles from any evidence of civilization--50 miles from water. 4000 ft. elevation.
We blew a tire on the trailer 15 miles from our destination. Starter gave out on the tow t...