Full Stack Autonomy - DARPA RACER Challenge
The DARPA RACER program's goal is to develop and demonstrate autonomy technologies that enable unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) to maneuver in unstructured off-road terrain at the limit of the vehicle's mechanical systems and at, or beyond, human-driven speeds and efficiencies. To quote the project leader, Matt Travers, “The RACER program is pushing us to develop an autonomy system that can not only handle tough terrain but also do so while moving fast,” The work is being done in collaboration with the Airlab, NREC and University of Rochester.
Our team called Team D.E.A.D. Fast — which stands for Differential Everything for Adaptive Driving Fast — has tested its vehicle in the National Robotics Engineering Center's (NREC) parking lot in Pittsburgh's Lawrenceville neighborhood. It's also taken the vehicle out in the rugged terrain around Western Pennsylvania and at the Renegade ATV Park about an hour east of Pittsburgh in Ohio. The team went to the Mojave Desert in March for its first tests with DARPA and recently completed the second round of demonstrations at Camp Roberts in Central California.
Members of Team D.E.A.D. Fast stand in front of their RACER Program vehicles at the Renegade ATV Park in Ohio.