Robots on the Road

Here’s another post about people building the darndest things. On March 28th, thanks to the folks at Darpanet, you’ll be able to watch a dozen driverless vehicles — created by people ranging from entreprenuers to students and hobbyists — attempt to successfully navigate 130 miles of Mojave desert terrain on NOVA’s The Great Robot Race. NOVA’s companion site features background on the dozen teams competing for the $2 million prize, as well as videos of their vehicles, and a preview of the upcoming show. 

Sounds impressive, and you can bet that with $2 million at stake a lot of time and resources went into building these prototypes. However, my favorite robot vehicle of the day won’t qualify for the competition. It’s a wi-fi rover I found via Make  magazine, built at a cost of $103 by a high school student who won second place in a local science fair with his creation.


He’s got plans to add GPS, and other neat gadgets. After building a robot on just over $100, I wonder what this kid could do with even a fraction of the Great Robot Race prize money.