Archive of entries posted on September 2010

Where were we?

No posts for a few days as we were awaiting our three VisLab teem-mates arriving one day late from Italy, sorry for that. After four autonomous runs completed on saturday, yesterday morning we drove for two autonomous runs of 74 and 72 km respectively. We substituted two vehicles rear bumpers then for the first part [...]

Back home again

Annoying misadventure for three of our VisLab guys today. Their departure to join the VIAC expedition in Omsk scheduled from Milan Malpensa airport this afternoon, it is only when arrived at the airport check-in desk that they discover their visas to enter Russia are valid from… tomorrow!! So plane tickets lost and a very expensive [...]

Bread and salt

First autonomous run of 73 km today and second one of 62 km, we’ve now entered the administrative division (Oblast) of Omsk; time zone is UTC+7. Had a very warm welcome in Omsk with people dancing and offering us bread and salt, a greeting ceremony of ancient Slavic tradition.

Flatland

Travelling towards the border with Kazakhstan on a very flat piece of land, today we drove autonomously for 2 runs of 63 km and 67 km respectively. Yesterday some fixing up activities: we recalibrated a laserscanner, welded all the front sensors protections (sort of bullbars) as some small cracks were developing on them and rewired [...]

Slow Boats to China…

… but getting there Yesterday’s arrival at Tjumen (after a last autonomous run of 75 km) has made us reach 50% of VIAC’s route completed: just about another 7,000 km to go! It gets dark early now, around 7:30 pm, and we had the first few snow drops today: very nice but how freezing cold

How VisLab’s oratory saved the first ticket in history to an autonomous vehicle!

We were preparing our demo, testing in a pedestrian area with our driverless vehicles. A local policeman, who apparently was not aware of our presence, saw our vehicles moving in a restricted area and approached them to talk to the driver and stop them. Then he realized there was no driver! And the vehicles were [...]

Tidying up discoveries

No travelling day today, we had time to sort out a few problems and tide up the vehicles, which really needed it. And what a good timing to do it: we discovered that the left laserscanner on one of the vehicles was almost falling off from its support: just as well we didn’t loose it [...]

Checking and fixing

Getting very up north the satellites are now lower above the horizon level and therefore becoming fewer and unreliable. We’re experiencing some problems with one of the two odometers which seems to work at intervals: we’ll give it a better check today. Also trying to reduce the following vehicle’s oscillations but not really successfully for [...]

In Ekaterinburg

Arrived at the hotel where we’ll be spending the night, 30 km from Ekaterinburg. The parking space available doesn’t seem suitable to let us work on the vehicles nor to transfer on the external storage devices the image sequences acquired today: we’ll try to find a solution or otherwise postpone the operations until the next [...]

To wait and not be tired from waiting…

Had to stop and wait for 4 hours this morning to complete the vehicles batteries charge, suspended during the night because of the heavy rain conditions. First autonomous run of 54 km completed, we’re now 80 km far from Ekaterinburg that we should reach by this evening. Also pretty cool up here… not a lot [...]