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A New Workhorse For DARPA 111

Roland Piquepaille writes "Later this month, Carnegie Mellon University and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will unveil the successor of the Spinner, a 7-ton unmanned robotic vehicle. Dubbed Crusher, this new 6.5-ton robot will be able to carry payloads of up to 2 tons on very complex terrains. Crusher will rely on surrounding sensors to keep its balance and learn about its environment. After intensive testings, it should start to perform its duties in 2008. Read more for additional details and pictures of Spinner and Crusher in action." However, I can see they have not yet performed the test of having Sigourney Weaver fight a hitchhiking alien with it, which is obviously crucial to our national defense.
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A New Workhorse For DARPA

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  • Just a pic? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Whiney Mac Fanboy ( 963289 ) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Monday April 17, 2006 @10:19AM (#15141942) Homepage Journal
    Here's a movie [cmu.edu]
  • Re:Oddly ironic (Score:3, Informative)

    by generic-man ( 33649 ) on Monday April 17, 2006 @10:28AM (#15142003) Homepage Journal
    The robot in question is named Spinner, not "Spiner." Both of the linked articles say so; it's just the article submitter that put in the accidental Star Trek TNG reference.
  • Re:Oddly ironic (Score:3, Informative)

    by truckaxle ( 883149 ) on Monday April 17, 2006 @10:40AM (#15142053) Homepage
    How much lower will our resolve to make peace be when the cost to ourselves in a war is insignificant?

    Cost? What cost? At the start of the last war we even got a tax break. We put the cost onto our children. Thats the way to fund a war - no pain just cool video clips on the tube.

    The current cost of the iraq war [nationalpriorities.org] is sitting around $270 x 10^9. That is around a $1000 bill for each citizen or about $22,500 per tax payer! I think before the start of any war it should be a law that the cost should be projected and be paid by the current generation in a reasonable time span.

    If our illustrious leader presented the case for war along with the very real financial cost and let people know that taxes will increase by $3000 for the next ten years we would have looked a little harder at the "case for the war" and the evidence presented and been a little more pissed to learn it was cooked.

    Also keep in mind some citizens and families pay the ultimate price. I think every should share some of the pain and public interest in the performance of those conducting the war would be a little more critical.
  • by badonkey ( 968937 ) on Monday April 17, 2006 @11:01AM (#15142184)
    Preface: I'm a CMU student, and have worked on this specific project. --

    This project has always been kept separate from the grand challenge. Spinner/Crusher are brought to us by CMU's NREC (National Robotics Engineering Center), while the RedTeam is responsible for CMU's involvement in the Grand Challenge. We never had communication or shared technology with the RedTeam.

    It would be rather unfair to the Grand Challenge if years of DARPA funded research/development (like Spinner/Crusher) were used to win a DARPA sponsored competition. And I can say with confidence that Spinner/Crusher would have dominated the Grand Challenge. The resources at NREC's disposal can't be matched by a (mostly) volunteer group of students.

    In short, CMU's contract with DARPA was established well before the Grand Challenge - the Spinner/Crusher research/development began several years ago. I'm flattered you think we're good enough to throw this together as a result of the Grand Challenge, though ;)

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