(From Turkish Daily News)
When 20 hulking robotic vehicles face off next month in a rugged race across the Nevada desert, the winning machine (if any crosses the finish line) will blend the latest technological bling and the most smarts.
The military sponsors the race to speed the development of unmanned vehicles for combat. The project had an inauspicious start: Last year's inaugural contest ended soon after it began when the robots careered off course or abruptly stalled. One even got tangled in barbed wire. Fast-forward 18 months, and double the prize to $2 million.
Newcomers have joined a handful of last year's teams to form a motley mix of garage tinkerers, academia and corporations. All hope that their machines -- fitted with the latest sensors, cameras and computers -- have aged a generation since last year.
Teams have beefed up …