Thrun, Sebastian


A Personal Account of the Development of Stanley, the Robot That Won the DARPA Grand Challenge

AI Magazine

This article is my personal account on the work at Stanford on Stanley, the winning robot in the DARPA Grand Challenge. Between July 2004 and October 2005, my then-postdoc Michael Montemerlo and I led a team of students, engineers, and professionals with the single vision of claiming one of the most prestigious trophies in the field of robotics: the DARPA Grand Challenge (DARPA 2004). The Grand Challenge, organized by the U.S. government, was unprecedented in the nation's history. Instead, this is my personal story of leading the Stanford Racing Team.


Probabilistic Algorithms in Robotics

AI Magazine

This article describes a methodology for programming robots known as probabilistic robotics. The probabilistic paradigm pays tribute to the inherent uncertainty in robot perception, relying on explicit representations of uncertainty when determining what to do. This article surveys some of the progress in the field, using in-depth examples to illustrate some of the nuts and bolts of the basic approach. My central conjecture is that the probabilistic approach to robotics scales better to complex real-world applications than approaches that ignore a robot's uncertainty.



Automated Learning and Discovery State-of-the-Art and Research Topics in a Rapidly Growing Field

AI Magazine

This article summarizes the Conference on Automated Learning and Discovery (CONALD), which took place in June 1998 at Carnegie Mellon University. CONALD brought together an interdisciplinary group of scientists concerned with decision making based on data. One of the meeting's focal points was the identification of promising research topics, which are discussed toward the end of this article.


To Know or Not to Know: On the Utility of Models in Mobile Robotics

AI Magazine

This article describes JEEVES, one of the winning entries in the 1996 Annual AAAI Mobile Robot Competition and Exhibition, held as part of the Thirteenth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence. The model, a geometric map constructed from sensory data gathered while the robot performed its task, enabled JEEVES to sweep the arena efficiently. This article argues that JEEVES's success depended crucially on the existence of the model. It also argues that models are generally useful in mobile robotics -- even in tasks as simple as the one faced in this competition.


The Mobile Robot RHINO

AI Magazine

Rhino was the University of Bonn's entry in the 1994 AAAI Robot Competition and Exhibition. The general scientific goal of the rhino project is the development and the analysis of autonomous and complex learning systems. This article briefly describes the major components of the rhino control software as they were exhibited at the competition. It also sketches the basic philosophy of the rhino architecture and discusses some of the lessons that we learned during the competition.