10.03.2005

Welcome to the Hotel California

Don Huckleberry and I arrived in Ontario, California, about 6:30pm local time – after a 3-hour drive from the Las Vegas airport. The flights were uneventful (the best kind :0), as was the drive through the desert. One immediate observation: we're not in Indiana anymore. I told Don, "get used to the color brown - we're going to be seeing a lot of it." And so it goes.

Don is a faculty member with the IU School of Informatics@IUPUI. His area of expertise is video production and he will be responsible for shooting all video of the Indy Robot Racing Vehicle throughout the competition. My job is producer, reporter and writer. We will be talking with members of the IRV team, notably those who are students or faculty at Indiana University.

The IRV team has been participating in the national qualifying event since last Wednesday, with three more days of required activities. This Thursday, 20 teams will learn they have qualified for the national competition to be held in the Mojave Desert outside Primm, Nevada, Saturday, October 8. A $2 million prize is on the line for the autonomously operated vehicle that successfully navigates a 175-mile desert terrain course in 10 hours or less.

The Indy team is considered one of the stronger entries, and we are confident they’ll be in the finals. We’re looking forward to documenting their progress, and to extending the reach of Indiana University, one of the nation’s premier research institutions. Check back here for periodic updates. Right now, it’s time for breakfast!

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