May 6, 2012

Learn How to Program a Robotic Car

I just signed up for a class that teaches one how to program a robotic car on Udacity. Udacity, a portmanteau of audacity and university, offers free online, university-level courses in Computer Science.

I'm enrolled in cs373 also know as Programming a Robotic Car. The course is taught by Sebastian Thrun who is a Stanford University professor and a leading computer scientist. He also heads the clandestine Google X Laboratory and is best known for his research in robotics and machine learning. Thrun has done substantial work with self-driving cars including Google's self driving car project and he even led Stanford to a victory in the DARPA Grand Challenge in 2004.

I'm really pumped about cs373. I plan to use what I learn to start an annual autonomous vehicle competition at Stanford based on the work done by Bob Avanzato at Penn State. Some of the concepts behind this competition  like computer vision, localization in an unknown environment will also be critical in my pursuit of the Google Lunar X-Prize competition. An ambitious 21st Century race to the moon. I don't want too get to far ahead of myself so I'll keep you all posted.