Thursday, June 28, 2007

Statistical Inference Software - The future is here

Published 25/05/07 By Bill Softky on "The Register"
...The fact is, what allowed Stanford's "Stanley" car (in the DARPA Grand Challenge competition) to cross a hundred miles of desert dirt unaided was not mechanical wizardry or "intelligence," but the careful application of statistical inference and software design to merging three kinds of sensor data: GPS coordinates, laser range-finders, and video color/texture signals. The secret sauce was in detecting the road fifty metres ahead and avoiding large obstacles, and even that apparently simple task consumed a year of the lives of a dozen computer science graduate students. It's hard to imagine Joe Tinkerer doing such things at home with his Mindstorms kit... Click here for the full article...

[G.K Comment: Well, another excellent article by Bill Softky. My favourite part of the article is the brief explanation of why statistical inference software is what really matters in some robot systems. I can't wait to see what other new technologies will emerge from the DARPA Urban Challenge which is due in late 2007.]

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