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MOXA to Help MIT's DARPA Grand Challenge Team Navigate through the Desert Southwest

"Team Manticore" was the name chosen by the group of MIT students formed to compete in this year's DARPA Grand Challenge (http://www.darpa.mil/grandchallenge/), an autonomous-vehicle road race that pits teams from across the country against each other in the desert Southwest of the United States. The MIT team's success hinges on technical contributions made by several top companies, including Moxa, Ford, and National Instruments (see the Team Manticore website at http://grandchallenge.mit.edu/ for more information about contributors).

The last stage of the DARPA Grand Challenge will take place in October of this year when about 20 teams chosen as finalists compete by navigating custom designed unmanned vehicles 175 miles across tough desert terrain. The purpose of the challenge is to speed up the effort by the defense department to create a robust autonomous vehicle that will save lives on the battlefield. Considering the fact that no teams completed last year's challenge, the number one goal of this year's teams will undoubtedly be to finish the race. The stakes are high, since the winning team will take home a $2,000,000 prize awarded by DARPA.

Moxa's contribution to the MIT team's effort is one CN2610 16-port Async Server. According to Kyle Vogt, Technical Director of the MIT team, "Our Ford F-150 pickup truck is now under 100% computer control, and Moxa's CN2610-16 is currently the heart of the control system. We have a wireless router running into the CN2610, which allows us to control the serial devices remotely via wireless internet, and the CN2610 connects to two servo amplifiers and a custom electronic throttle control system designed by the team. We're using CN2610's virtual tty drivers for linux, and our software team loves them!" The Team Manticore website at http://grandchallenge.mit.edu/ has more information about the MIT team, including details of the autonomous vehicle system they created and downloadable videos of trial runs.

MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) is the world's premiere engineering and scientific university. Located along the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT is a coeducational research university that is supported by private endowments. With more than 900 faculty members and 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students, MIT is made up of five schools that together have thirty-three departments, programs, and divisions.

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