Comtrol Sponsors Insight Racing in DARPA Smart Car Race

Cary, N.C. — December 5, 2006 … Comtrol Corporation and Insight Racing recently announced Comtrol’s sponsorship of Insight Racing for the next DARPA Grand Challenge race, the Urban Challenge. Comtrol, maker of the DeviceMaster® family of network-enabling device servers, sponsored Insight in the 2005 Grand Challenge where Insight was a finalist.

"We are pleased to have Comtrol as a repeat sponsor. Their highly-reliable DeviceMaster helped us build a robust solution by delivering high-speed communication between sensors and our central processing," said Grayson Randall, team leader for Insight Racing. "Comtrol’s products made it easy to communicate with all sensors and computers and gave us great application versatility and added redundancy to our systems. The DeviceMaster is an outstanding product."

"Insight has a great team of minds working on their vehicle. We are excited to be a part of their sponsor line-up and are pleased to introduce our new DeviceMaster 500 as part of Insight Racing’s solution," said Mark Pikkarainen, general manager of Industrial Automation solutions at Comtrol.

Jeff Wuendry, product marketing manager for SICK USA said, "The DeviceMaster 500 is specifically designed to work with SICK® LMS sensors. This allows for real-time communication of terrain and obstacle data to the smart car’s multiple computer systems."

The DARPA Grand Challenge is a series of robotic vehicle races. Computer driven vehicles compete to demonstrate new advanced automotive control technology. The most recent Grand Challenge culminated in a 132-mile race across the Mojave Desert in the Southwest U.S. on Oct. 8, 2005. The races are sponsored by the Department of Defense and were designed to accelerate the development of vehicles that do not require a human driver.

The upcoming race is set to take place Nov. 3, 2007 and pits these smart cars and trucks against one another in a series of missions, which take place in city driving conditions. The "smart cars" will have to follow California driving rules, pass other moving vehicles, stop at intersections, and traverse traffic circles, in addition to other driving tasks. Insight recently unveiled a Lotus Elise as their vehicle for the urban challenge. The Lotus Elise was donated by Lotus Cars USA and will be modified for autonomous control by Lotus Engineering Inc.

Walt Sliva, business manager for Insight Racing said, "Insight Racing is banking on the reliability and performance of the Comtrol’s DeviceMaster. This outstanding product is key to our advanced automotive solution and its success. We are proud to work with Comtrol and believe their new product will provide another winning solution."

Other sponsors include: The Advanced Research Center, Lotus, North Carolina State University, SICK, Ascot Technologies, Inc., BD Micro, PC MedEvac and Smith Anderson.

For more information and to follow Insight Racing’s progress visit www.insightracing.org.

For more information on Comtrol visit www.comtrol.com

For more information on the DARPA Grand Challenge visit http://www.grandchallenge.org


Comtrol is a global provider of serial-to-Ethernet and industrial Ethernet networking solutions, delivering 25 years experience in tools that connect, communicate and control.

Insight Racing is a North Carolina-based robotic vehicle racing team sponsored by N.C. State University and North Carolina businesses to compete in the DARPA Grand Challenge events.