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Robots Decamping to Former LTV Site

BY Byron Spice - Thu, 2006-03-23 12:00  Printer-friendly version

The university is renovating part of an old locomotive roundhouse on the future Robot City site to serve as the home for the Red Team and elements of the Field Robotics Center.

William "Red" Whittaker hopes to turn the former LTV site into Robot City. The robots once housed in the Planetary Robotics Building — including the Red Team and its famed robotic race vehicles — have moved to new quarters on the former LTV site in Hazelwood. The university is renovating part of an old locomotive roundhouse on the site to serve as the home for the Red Team and elements of the Field Robotics Center. For now, the robots are being housed temporarily in old buildings on the LTV site.

The move was necessitated by the pending demolition of the Planetary Robotics Building to make room for construction of the Gates Center for Computer Science. But William "Red" Whittaker, director of the Field Robotics Center and leader of the Red Team, sees it as an opportunity to create a "Robot City," where robots not only will be developed and tested, but also actively move earth, plant and cut grass and do other work necessary to redevelop the site.

The Red Team grew familiar with the site during their preparations for the two DARPA Grand Challenge races, taking advantage of the rough, but open spaces for field testing. Whittaker and colleagues are now seeking support from foundation and corporate sponsors to make their vision of Robot City a reality. For details, visit the web site at www.robotcity.org.

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Byron Spice | 412-268-9068 | bspice [atsymbol] cs ~replace-with-a-dot~ cmu ~replace-with-a-dot~ edu