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