Gearheads at Carnegie Mellon University are partnering up with tractor-maker Caterpillar to build the world's largest robotic dump truck, a 700-ton ground mover capable of hauling 240 tons of earth. In case you can't wrap your head around that amount, that's like 33 African bull elephants worth of dirt. The trucks are completely driver-less, and will be used as part of an autonomous mining haulage system Caterpillar's developing with minerals giant BHP Billiton. The Carnegie Mellon folks will be responsible for adapting their auto-drive software, originally developed for DARPA, to the hulking machines. [CMU via Wired]
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So, a bunch of smart people are thinking of a way to put even more workers out of a job. GREAT idea!