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Michael Mewhinney/Nicholas A. Veronico
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
Phone: 650/604-3937 or 604-9000
E-mail: nveronico@mail.arc.nasa.gov

September 14, 2005
 
RELEASE : 05_46AR
 
 
NASA Research Park to Host Open House, Robotics Lecture
 
 
PLEASE NOTE: Due to rain, we have to move this lecture to BUILDING 943 (next to the Exploration Center) outside of the main gate - thank you.

NASA Research Park at Ames Research Center will host an open house on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2005, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. PDT, and a free public lecture co-sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University West at 7 p.m. PDT, featuring a renowned robotics expert.

Dr. William "Red" Whittaker, a leader in the field of mobile robotics, will discuss "Racing for the Future," and his team's efforts to win the $2 million Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Grand Challenge racing prize on Oct. 8, 2005. Special guest Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer, is scheduled to introduce Whittaker.

"NASA Ames Research Center has played a key role in the development of intelligent systems and smart spacecraft," said NASA Ames Director G. Scott Hubbard. "Each advancement in the technology of autonomous systems helps NASA realize the vision of using robots and humans together to explore our solar system and beyond."

Prior to the lecture, NASA Research Park (NRP) will host robotic and NASA Research Park partner exhibits. NASA's Robotics Alliance Project will showcase speedy, student-built robots of all sizes from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. PDT. At 5 p.m., Carnegie Mellon University's West Coast Campus will demonstrate mini-robots running a course. Facility tours will be available for guests interested in locating in the NRP. All events take place outdoors at the parade ground in historic Shenandoah Plaza.

Whittaker, Fredkin Research Professor of Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute, leads the Red Team's efforts to win the DARPA prize. The race requires an autonomous ground vehicle to complete a 175-mile course through California's Mojave Desert in less than 10 hours. The Red Team will compete with two entrants – Sandstorm (based on an ex-military 1986 Humvee) and H1GHLANDER (a 1999 H1 Hummer).

"We're honored to have Red Whittaker discuss his work in autonomous vehicles, and in collaboration with NASA Ames, to participate in this research park event," said Jim Morris, dean of Carnegie Mellon University's West Coast Campus.

NASA Research Park's goal is to enhance public and private partnerships aligned with NASA's mission. "Racing for the Future" is part of the NASA Research Park's Exploration Lecture Series, and is co-sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University and its West Coast Campus, located in the research park's Building 23. The NASA Research Park Lecture Series promotes NASA's vision for exploration and is co-sponsored by NRP and the SETI Institute of Mountain View, Calif.

For more information about NASA Research Park on the Internet, visit:

http://researchpark.arc.nasa.gov


For information about NASA and agency programs on the Internet, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov


To follow the Red Team's Grand Challenge racing efforts on the Internet, visit:

http://www.redteamracing.org


 

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