Category Archives: Rocketboom

Congrats to DARPA robotic car challenge finishers

Wired blog has the details on the robotic car race. Tartan Racing (joint effort of General Motors and CMU) came in first, Stanford University, second. Two million dollar and one million dollar prizes, respectively.

Anyway, if you didn’t catch this interview, now might be a great time. It’s with the guy who runs the algorithms on Stanford’s entry.

This is a 60-mile race that is completed by computers. Pretty darn cool technology and a pretty big challenge for computers and the people who program them.

UPDATE: Popular Mechanics has details on the winners.

Attack of the robotic helicopter

Crowd pleaser

Ever start a story like this?

Yesterday I was attacked by an autonomous robotic helicopter

Me neither until I was attacked by one of these criters on our photowalking at Stanford University. Turns out that if it gets a bad bit of directional data sent to it they’ll go out of control and one did just that: flipped over and came straight at me and hit me in the leg (no one was injured and the robot was rebooted and flew just fine from then on). One of the developers said that it might just be an evil robot. Heh. Can’t wait to show you the video (Rocky says he got the attack on video). It was an incredible day with a mixture of art, science, and technology and Ian Hsu, of Stanford, gave us a great tour that’ll be quite hard to match.

UPDATE: We’ve just uploaded the video of the mishap.

The photographers, brought to Stanford by the National Geographic, who presented in the evening as part of the All Roads Project were incredible — they are visiting several cities in the US and I highly recommend getting to their talks and meeting them. Made me realize how much of the world we don’t see because many of the world’s photographers don’t know how to use blogs and/or Flickr and/or don’t have access to the Internet. One photographer, from Africa, if I remember right, told the audience that there are villages where people are getting killed during protests over electricity. He made the point that photographers there aren’t very likely to be on the Internet.

Some interesting brainstorming is underway of how to bring more images from these places to the Internet, which is where the audiences that might be able to help with money and/or PR attention (which is what many of these photographers are hoping for).

I’ll have my photos up in a few hours, still processing them. Oh, and damn Apple’s iPhoto. It crashed several times and ate my photos to boot. So, I’m switching my workflow over to Adobe stuff which I should have done in the first place anyway.

Over the next week or so we’ll get the videos up we shot, including of the robotics team.

The official tag is “photowalkingstanford.” But there’s photos on Flickr for photowalkingstanford and on stanfordphotowalk. I’m sure Thomas Hawk will get some up soon too and I’ll update this post when that happens.

UPDATE: over on Zooomr there are a lot more images. Here’s the ones on Zooomr tagged with photowalkingstanford and photowalking100107.

By the way, thanks to the approx. 40 people who showed up. Looking forward to seeing your photos. Please link to any of your blogs/photos here in the comment section so we can see them all.

Our next photowalking will be in the Marin Headlands with Trevor Carpenter on October 9th.

Crowd pleaser

UPDATE: Here’s my photos from the day:

Scary Thomas shoots New Guinea sculpture The Gates of Hell Team member reorients robot Who has more cameras? Stairway in Stanford's Memorial Church Photowalking inside the Church Pictures and Pews Beautiful Glass Stanford's Synchronized Swim Team Rodin this, Rodin that! Thomas Hawk gets a tour Photo researcher, Marc Levoy Part of a camera array A whole lot of cameras