The Great Robot Race

The Great Robot RaceTwenty-three bizarre looking vehicles line up at the starting gate of the DARPA Grand Challenge with one thing in common: there s nobody behind the wheel.

Sponsored by the Pentagon s research agency this race for robotic driverless vehicles has a $2 million prize. Its ultimate goal is to gather new ideas for the future of unmanned warfare.

With names like Terramax Highlander Ghostrider and Stanley these vehicles are armed with cutting-edge technology including artificial intelligence laser-guided vision GPS navigation and 3-D mapping systems.

But can some of the world s most advanced robots overcome a grueling 130-mile stretch of Nevada’s scorching desert terrain? NOVA follows the competing engineering teams as they deal with the glitches system crashes and tight deadlines that threaten to derail them at every turn.

NOVA's cameras capture the race s technical challenges hilarious pitfalls and a final twist as a surprise contender comes up from behind to steal the race.

Watch the full documentary now

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Ratings: 9.00/10from 25 users.

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11 Comments / User Reviews

  1. mega markd

    This doco is about 6 or 7 years old now, and since it was aired, a second grand challenge (the urban challenge) has come and gone.

    The tech from this first was used to create a six wheeled unmanned tank that is not too dissimilar to the six-wheeler children's radio controlled toys (in that they can operate upside-down).

    After the prototype was unveiled and the urban challenge had finished, all news on this front went dead quiet....

    1. Terence Kearns

      Skynet has already become sentient. It just hasn't told us yet ;)

  2. Justin_Funski

    I was interested until they brought up Pvt. Jessica Lynch without mentioning the Army was full of ****. Too bad they can't stimulate technology without the hidden purpose of waging war.

  3. Cas

    future for "unmanned warfare", bright future indeed!

  4. Metavacron

    Instead of making science helpful for humanity like it should, all this inventors are bribed from the Pentagon to build up weapons for an even more lethal army. If you want proof, you can see where all this 2 million ''innovation'' quest led with the unmanned CRASHER vehicle (the name speaks itself).

    I just wonder, where everyone of those who helped to build all this army monstrosities will be, when humans WONT operate weapons to kill other humans for the upper classe's profit? Probably hiding from automated killers somewhere with the rest of us, wishing they never took that 2 million.

  5. Mohamad

    this has to be the most inspiring documentary I've watched on this website so far.

  6. Billy Bingbong

    Enjoyed this one. Mr Savage you are right, but I think the rovers wouldn't need to cover a great deal of ground and can concentrate on stability. A robot vehicle dropping off supplies to soldiers in the desert needs to cover ground at speed

  7. Un manned keyboard

    One of my favs on this site. Keep up the great work! 100110011......

  8. mr savage

    so how does rover (the mars explorer) work?
    is it not the same thing?
    also, is that the high commander (3rd r.f.t.s) i hear?

    1. Bungaroosh

      Dick Soloman: Okay, let's get this straight; I don't care how much it costs, I don't care how difficult it is to accomplish, I want a security system that will guarantee every moment of our lives will be filled with a sense of absolute safety and contentment.

  9. Tah

    best documentary yet, Wow, I still think the red team did great though