WPI Team Unveiling Remote-Controlled SUV in Drive for Million Prize

Contact: WPI Media Relations, +1-508-831-5706


A team from Worcester Polytechnic Institute hoping to drive away with the $2 million prize in the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge will be holding an "open garage" this week to show off the progress of its entrant - a 1990 Toyota 4-Runner powered by remote control.

Calling themselves Team Atlas Offroad, the team members will give a presentation of their labors to date in a short demo, followed by opportunities for up-close viewing of the car, private demonstrations, and questions-and-answers. The car is the result of more than 50 hours in a machine shop, 100 hours in a garage, and three all-nighters during spring break.

The Grand Challenge (www.darpa.mil/grandchallenge) is an international competition organized by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense. DARPA will award the $2 million cash prize to the Grand Challenge team that builds a completely autonomous ground vehicle that travels the fastest time in under 10 hours across approximately 175 miles of treacherous desert roads and trails in the southwestern United States on October 8, 2005. This is the second Grand Challenge competition. The first Grand Challenge was held in March 2004.

Team Atlas Offroad is one of 195 teams who signed up for the DARPA Grand Challenge. The team has already passed the first cut and advanced to a field numbering 136. In order to be one of the 20 finalists selected by DARPA to compete on Oct. 8, the team must continue to pass a series of competitive reviews and tests, including vehicle and video reviews, an in-person site visit, and a National Qualifications Event.


Thursday, March 24, 2005
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.


Alden Research Laboratories
30 Shrewsbury Street, Building 11
Holden, Mass.