The DARPA Grand Challenge started this morning. You can follow the action live on the Status Board which updates every 30 seconds or, if you want to download a proprietary browser plugin and a 2-10MB applet, you can see the same info superimposed over a terrain map. At the time of this posting, the much hyped CMU Red Team was disabled after 7 miles. Team DAD was in the lead, their robot having covered 6 miles and still operating. You can see lots of new photos of the teams preparing their robots in the DARPA media gallery. More than 100 teams originally announced entries but after changes that resulted in DARPA PR snafu, only 25 teams were allowed to continue. DARPA then eliminated 6 more teams for undisclosed reasons. The remaining 19 teams then had to complete a qualifying run through a DARPA obstacle course. Only a few robots qualified but DARPA relaxed the rules a bit, allowing a total of 15 robots (PDF format) at the starting line this morning.