During the 1st DARPA Grand Challenge, the Ohio State University Team supported Oshkosh Truck's TerraMax and provided the sensors, control and guidance, in essence the total "intelligence" for the big truck that caught everybody's attention. The OSU Team was aided by the University of Parma, which developed a vision system for TerraMax. Many sponsors contributed and supported our effort, and even though the extremely short time for preparation (basically 4 months) did not allow enough time for integration and testing, the OSU Team delivered a truly "intelligent" platform.
This year, we shall be using a new platform, the Polaris Ranger 6x6.
We have all the sensors, the computers and the software from the 1st Challenge TerraMax system and will use them as a starting point for our 2nd Challenge entry: the Intelligent Off-road Navigator (ION).
A number of the team members from the 1st Challenge are still with us, richer with the experience, but there will be many new participants.
One new aspect in this venture is the expanded educational effort. A special Grand Challenge related Design Course sequence during Autumn 2004 and Winter 2005 will serve many undergraduate students, and also provide numerous ideas for implementation on ION. Interested observers can check the Education link.
The Ohio State University is the main sponsor of ION, but we are still looking for other supporters and partners.