Team Jefferson

Robot: "Tommy"

Body: Custom silver-egg-shaped design based on a dune buggy

Affiliations: Hobbyists/Perrone Robotics

Hometown: Charlottesville, VA

Leader: Paul Perrone

Team size: 8

Budget: ~$60,000 on engineering/parts, ~$30,000 on travel

Key technologies: Perrone RoboticsTM patent pending MAXTM (Mobile Autonomous X-bot) general-purpose robotics software platform running in an open Java-based environment.

Biggest challenge(s): With only $60,000 for parts, 10 person-months of software development time, and a single $200 processor card, one software guy tried pulling together a small multidisciplinary team of folks to demonstrate a "faster and cheaper" approach for building autonomous vehicles.

Race results: Did not qualify despite scoring

What they're up to now: Pursuing licensing and integration of MAX platform for various robotics and automation applications. Created "Tommy Jr.," a smaller platform based on an off-road go-kart frame for application to outdoor surveillance, security, and payload delivery. A few team members are still involved with these projects, while others are back to their day jobs and school.

Where the vehicle is now: A rebuilt Tommy resides in the Perrone workshop in Charlottesville and continues to be used for demonstration and exhibition at conferences and as an evolving test platform for autonomous ground vehicle R&D.