• 2003-2005

    The Early Years

    Perrone Robotics, Inc. (PRI), based in Crozet, Virginia, was formed in 2003 and has been developing mobile autonomous robotics solutions ever since. Early development work focused on making it easier to configure and program robots. Then, in 2005, we took on the DARPA Grand Challenge and 2 years later the DARPA Urban Challenge. Our MAX full-stack robotics software platform was put to the test demonstrating a rapid and robust means for building fully autonomous ground vehicles during both challenges. These challenges were established by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to accelerate the development of fully-autonomous ground vehicle technology. PRI’s entries competed very well against much larger and better-funded efforts which helped us understand the strengths and work to be done on the MAX platform.

  • September 2005 and September 2007 (Urban Challenge)

    Perrone Attends the DARPA Challenge

    After the last DARPA challenge PRI began commercializing our technology: automating ground vehicles and transportation-related applications using MAX, as well as advanced LiDAR-based perception software (MAX-LiDAR). In 2009 we continued to showcase our evolved technology in applications such as automation of rock legend Neil Young’s converted 1959 Lincoln Continental extended range Electric vehicle called the LincVolt. In more recent years, the Perrone Robotics team held the chairmanship of the SAE On Road Automated Vehicle (ORAV) standards committee, founded the SAE ORAV Verification & Validation Task Force, provided FIRST Robotics League support, participated in X-prize Foundation planning of an automated vehicle competition, and delivered talks at automated vehicle and driverless car-related industry conferences, among many other activities.

  • 2012

    Robotic Collision Avoidance Test Systems

    In 2012, we created a next generation robotic collision avoidance test system under an engagement with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The resulting Automated Vehicle Test System (AVTS) included a drop-in-autonomy kit (DAK) for converting any test vehicle into an automated vehicle in 30 minutes or less. Other AVTS developments included low profile run-over target robot platforms carrying crash-able soft targets such as vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists. The DAKs and target robots were programmed with the MAX software evolved from the DARPA Grand and Urban challenges. By this time, the underlying MAX platform could support a wide range of highly sophisticated movement plans and scenarios enabling a virtually limitless range of single and multi-robot coordinated test and collision scenarios for the DAKs and the target robots controlled by the MAX platform.

  • 2016

    Ongoing Development

    PRI spent the last few years growing the company and testing our software platform in other environments. This meant updating and refining software, hardware, and testing in every condition imaginable to harden our product. This trial and error process allowed us to create a simulation software interface via partnership with Cyberbotics, which tests simulated vehicles in all conditions in a repeatable, realistic manner. Ongoing development and testing refined our robotics software platform into MAX-Auto, which is a purpose-built robotics platform directed squarely at autonomous (“self-driving”) vehicle applications. All of this work culminated in a partnership agreement with Intel Capital in October of 2016 to not only expand our team but also further our efforts. And we’re only just getting started!


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