My pal Jesse Hurdus, who helped me out on my robot book, was also part of Virginia Tech’s VictorTango Urban Challenge Team. He writes to

“Thought I’d send some interesting news your way. Team VictorTango’s base vehicle platform for the Urban Challenge (which placed third, just behind Stanford), is now being sold as a product by TORC Technologies. Of course, this is just the fully Drive-By-Wire Ford Hybrid Escape (minus sensors and A.I.), but its very cool none-the-less!” Team VictorTango was Virginia Tech’s entry in the Urban Grand Challenge. You can find out more about on the Team VictorTango website. Their robotic vehicle, known as Odin, was loaded with sensors that included SICK laser scanners, IBEO Alasca laser scanners, NovAtel GPS/INS, and multiple video cameras. TORC Technologies worked with the VT team as a subcontractor on the vehicle, developing technologies that included motion planning algorithms for use with Ackerman steering, driving behaviors, situation classifiers, and a JAUS-based software architecture.

Go VT!