I just spent an hour watching a documentary produced by NOVA on the Darpa Grand Challenge (for those of you who don’t know, it is a >100 mile race on desert roads for autonomous-driving vehicles).
It is truly a testosterone-boosting experience watching these really smart guys who made such amazing robots that completed the amazing task.
I have recently started to work on the sensor fusion aspects of “Alice”, the Caltech autonomous vehicle that entered the Darpa Grand Challenge who unfortunately didn’t finish the entire race. When I started looking at the problem of fusing sensor data "smartly", it looked almost too trivial to work on. But a few weeks into it, I am completely frustrated and don’t know what the hell can be done by a complete idiot like me. :-S It indeed, looks like a grand challenge for me personally, to really master the tools to solve the problem.
I am glad that I watched the video today, which just made my day. It totally boosted my excitement about the work and I am ready to bite any bullet that is in my way (even if it means having to endure the horror of multi-threads programming…)
I quote these words and hope I will remember them constantly:
n You can, because you believe you can.
n Every hard effort pays off ten times.
n Even the longest race is finished one step at a time;
even the shortest race cannot be finished without stepping forward.