I have a long standing interest in semi-autonomous systems ('robots' if you would, but I draw the boundary more widely), from both the technical and investment points of view. As a result, I'll be attending the finals of the DARPA Urban Challenge in southern California at the end of the month. This is the successor to the Grand Challenge of 2005, which saw five autonomous vehicles complete a 132 mile course through desert and mountains, and was one of DARPA's most effective programs ever. This time, the course includes city streets and other vehicles, and requires obeying safety and traffic rules. The ultimate goal is to produce robotic logistics vehicles that can reduce the number of personnel required to handle supplies and support, and to be exposed to IEDs and other hazards.
So here's the bleg: I've got my own ideas for interesting story angles, points of information and questions to ask the participants. I've also got a very eclectic readership here, with some very deep technologists and investors. What would you like to know? What would you ask? I can't guarantee to follow up on every idea, but anything that strikes a chord or is part of a cluster of interests will be used. Comments are open, and my e-mail is in the 'about'.