This is an archived web site made available for research purposes. The page is no longer being updated or maintained.

Grand Challenge Home Welcome
Discussion Forum
Team Resources
Media Resources
Event Photos
What's New
Grand Challenge 2004
Grand Challenge 2005 Tracking


Team Jefferson
Vehicle Name Tommy
Team E-mail
Location Crozet, VA
Team Description*

Team Jefferson is based out of Charlottesville, Virginia with many members sharing a common bond to the home town of our third U.S. President Thomas Jefferson and the University of Virginia. With members ranging from scientific researchers, off-road desert racing experts, and industry professionals, Team Jefferson combines the synergistic fusion of advanced research and practical professionalism that makes their vehicle “Tommy” a serious contender.

Tommy is a gas-powered, custom built, and full scale dune buggy with a unique aluminum-skinned egg-shaped design striking a perfect balance between navigability, stability, and resilience to the terrain in question. Tommy’s sensory technology employs a mix of off the shelf and custom LADAR, RADAR, GPS and other means for “seeing” and “determining” what lies ahead. Tommy’s computing platform is an economical yet powerful array of modern off the shelf components.

The software for Tommy is based on Perrone Robotics’ Mobile Autonomous X-bot (MAX) software platform. MAX serves as the general purpose robotics operating system atop of which sits Team Jefferson’s Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) application. MAX and MAX-UGV imbue Tommy with the intelligence needed to survive, drive, and navigate the DARPA Grand Challenge. While the Grand Challenge has lit the fire beneath the effort to debut and showcase MAX and MAX-UGV, the extensibility of such platforms allow them to be applied to an even wider range of mobile autonomous robots for the military as well as for commercial personal and professional uses.

“The DARPA Grand Challenge rekindles the spirit of American innovation and risk taking prevalent in the days of Edison, the Wright Brothers, and Ford,” explains team leader Paul Perrone. “While internally Tommy is a next generation integration of robotics technology, Tommy’s retro looking exterior pays tribute to this spirit of days past. Tommy truly is the robot of tomorrow, as dreamed of yesterday, today.”

Sponsors* Perrone Robotics, Inc., Assured Technologies, Inc., Sandtec Sand Rails, Bodine Electric Company, M.I.T.S. Corporation, Complete list at team website.

*This information is supplied by the team.  DARPA does not verify team descriptions or sponsor lists.

Accessibility/Section 508