Wynright in the News

Robots at a Tipping Point in the Supply Chain

By Tom Galluzzo

May-June,  2015

“If man ever flies, it will not be within our lifetime, not within a thousand years.”—Wilbur Wright, 1901

Just two years after making the above comment to his brother Orville, the Wrights made the world’s first powered aircraft flight. How could someone so close to the tipping point, arguably the most influential person in aeronautical history, not know that success was within reach?

I experienced a similar phenomenon in my own career in robotics when I was a graduate student at the University of Florida. In 2004, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the government group best known for fostering the Internet, challenged the robotics world to race unmanned vehicles 150 miles through the Mojave Desert. No one had ever built a robot that could drive by itself through that much off-road terrain. It was called the DARPA Grand Challenge.

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