Golem Group talks about their bot’s crash

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Members of the Golem Group team candidly told us what cause their robot’s crash during a qualification run at the DARPA Urban Challenge.  The “Golem 3” robotic Prius had been running qualification course A fairly smoothly until it froze up at a virtual stop sign.  When the bot was started up again, it veered sharply to the left and crashed into a curb.

Victorville (CA) – Members of the Golem Group team candidly told us what cause their robot’s crash during a qualification run at the DARPA Urban Challenge.  The “Golem 3” robotic Prius had been running qualification course A fairly smoothly until it froze up at a virtual stop sign.  When the bot was started up again, it veered sharply to the left and crashed into a curb.

Robb Walters blamed the problem on a low-level hardware failure that caused the bot to go into a feedback loop.  The computers weren’t getting any acceleration readers and so it kept instructing the car to give more gas.  The spectacular result can be seen in our crash video above.

Fortunately the team is still in high spirits and Bill Caldwell told us that the Prius barely has a scratch on it.  Indeed the team managed to fix the tire and rim within a few hours.