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Robot Racers Off and Running

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And there they go!

The first of more than a dozen self-navigating robots are rolling across the Mojave Desert this morning in search of a million- dollar prize for their scientist-builders.

The Pentagon is sponsoring the robot race that extends from Barstow to Primm, Nevada. The military agency´s aim is to foster development of autonomous vehicles that can be used in combat.

First out of the gate was Carnegie Mellon University´s converted Humvee. It covered about five miles of the roughly 150-mile course but has been knocked out after engine failure.

Teams must finish the course in less than ten hours. Just seven of 21 teams that tried to qualify completed a flat course little more than a mile long over four days of trials.