Join Team Overbot

Team Overbot is a group of volunteers in Silicon Valley who are building a vehicle for the DARPA Grand Challenge--200 miles across the desert, no driver under the auspices of the Silicon Valley Overland Robotics Association. The competition will take place March 14, 2004, on a course between Barstow and Las Vegas.

We have a shop in Redwood City and an off-road vehicle. We're all unpaid volunteers; most of us are Stanford alumni. If you join us, expect to sign a liability release and spend long hours building an autonomous robitic vehicle and its control system. If we win, volunteers will get some share (to be determined) of the $1,000,000 prize. This is a opportunity to work on one of the most exciting projects in robotics today. The competition itself takes place March 14, 2004, between Barstow and Las Vegas. See our web site at http;//

If you are enrolled at Stanford, you can arrange to get project course credit. Normal academic standards apply and a report is required. Units and content are negotiable. Contact Dennis Allison, if you are interested in course credit.


Interface a commercial Doppler radar speedometer to a computer. Select appropriate PC/104 components and assemble system. Interface to QNX operating system and Ethernet.


The competition rules require a 119dB (yes, 119dB) audible warning system. We're required to provide flashing yellow lights. We also need an LED sign to display error and warning messages to persons nearby. All must be built and interfaced.


The vehicle needs a ring of short-range ruggedized ultrasonic sonar sensors, which need to be acquired, packaged, mounted on the vehicle, and interfaced.


This is our primary safety system. It involves motors, brakes, fuel cutoffs, emergency stop radios, and big red buttons. When it triggers, the brakes must lock and the engine must stop. A fail-safe system must be designed, built, and tested.


Build a tool which allows the display of sensor data from the vehicle's multiple sensor systems, which include radar and LIDAR. Portions of the system will be on QNX, and portions may be on Windows, connected via a wireless LAN.


We have to start, stop, and throttle the vehicle's engine under computer control. Automotive experience helpful. It will be necessary to add sensors and actuators to the vehicle powerplant and drivetrain.


We have other tasks, involving GPS, inertial systems, and guidance software. If you have expertise in these areas, we can work something out.

Team Overbot
2682 Middlefield Road, Unit N,
Redwood City, CA
In the Redwood Junction Industrial Park near Woodside Road.
John Nagle
Team Overbot
Dennis Allison
Stanford CSL