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Autonomous Motorcycles
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I've blogged before about the DARPA Grand Challenge, an unmanned robot race in the desert between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, with the winner getting $1 million.

It takes place next month.

Now some of the teams have converted Hummers or Chevy Blazers or other vehicles into contestants...but these people are freaking crazy.

They're trying to build a motorcycle to drive itself 200 miles. Why are two wheels better than four?

Single track (two wheel) vehicles cost less, are more efficient and can traverse more extreme environments because they only have conform to the terrain in one axis.

Yeah, but there's just one problem:

Achieving stability is much more complex than on any other platform, which is why no one has succeeded at creating an autonomous motorcycle.

It's just that little "achieving stability" problem. Sorry, but this has to be one of the dumbest ideas I've seen in quite a while. This thing is gonna fall down within 50 feet of the race starting and spin its wheels for 10 hours.

I'm all for thinking bold, but jeez...why not start out with a three-wheeler or four-wheeler? Or how about some training wheels?

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