CajunBot is Born. With the financial support of the Lafayette Auto Dealers Association, Team CajunBot and the University of Lousiana-Lafayette has excelled in robotic vehicle research. Their efforts may soon be saving the lives of America’s troops.
CajunBot - In 2001, the U.S. Congress mandated that one-third of all ground vehicles in the U.S. Armed Forces be replaced with robotic vehicles by the year 2015. The Department of Defense (DoD) quickly realized this deadline would be impossible to accomplish through traditional research and development models. The greatest challenge was the timeline. A solution needed to be developed at a lightning pace.
It was soon decided that the problem could be solved by enlisting the creativity and innovation of American inventors and entrepreneurs in the effort. Americans love challenge. Americans love competition. Thus, the DARPA Grand Challenge was born.
Beginning in 2004, 2005 and 2007, UL-Lafayette team members built two autonomous vehicles which competed in the Department of Defense’s challenges which pitted driverless vehicles against one another in on a desert course and city streets. The first two challenges featured CajunBot – a six-wheeled all-terrain vehicle. In 2007, team members showcased CajunBot II - a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.
At the encouragement of the late Robert Trahan, Lafayette Auto Dealer Association member and president of Lafayette Motors, the Lafayette Auto Dealers Association has been a major financial and logistical supporter of the CajunBot program.
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