About Team Overbot

Who we are

Team Overbot is an all-volunteer effort. We're a group of senior engineering people in Silicon Valley. Many of us are Stanford alumni, though one of us went to MIT. All of us have done previous robotics, navigation, or related work. Most of us have been through a high-tech startup; some of us have run them.

Why are we doing this? Our motives vary. But we all see that it's possible to do this. We have the technology. It could be the next big thing. That's how Silicon Valley makes things happen.


Map via Mapquest

Team Overbot
2682 Middlefield Road, Unit N
Redwood City, CA 94063

We're located in the Redwood Junction industrial park in Redwood City, California, about 0.4 miles east of Woodside Road.

Take US 101 or I-280 to Woodside Road. Go to Middlefield Road. Turn south. Turn into Redwood Junction at the railroad crossing. We're in the first building in the industrial park, on the far side.

Mapquest map




(650) 326-3529 (general info)
(650) 367-0503 (shop)

Visitors by appointment only, please.

Team Overbot shop
Team Overbot's shop

Joining Team Overbot

We're looking for a few good people. Click here for information on joining Team Overbot.

Press coverage

We're always glad to talk to the working press.
Contact us.
Press clippings.

How does it work?

The simplified version:

We bought the fastest available commercial 6 wheel drive ATV, and put electric motors on the steering, throttle, shifter, and brake. We put a scanning laser rangefinder and a TV camera on top, a radar on the front, and a few other sensors around the vehicle. All these connect to computers, five of them.

DARPA gives us a CD-ROM two hours before the race with about 1000 GPS waypoints. Those give us a general idea of what the route is, but we have to deal with the real world along the way. If the waypoints put us on a road, the vehicle follows the road; if we're off-road, the laser rangefinder profiles the ground ahead, and looks for reasonably flat places to go. On tough terrain, the vehicle slows down, shifts to low, engages six wheel drive, and grinds its way through. If there's an obstacle or the terrain becomes impossible to drive over, the vehicle backs off and looks for a better route.

The technical version:

In EE380, at Stanford, on September 24, 2003, we gave a technical presentation.

Officers of the Silicon Valley Overland Robotics Association

John Nagle - President
Bruce Baumgart - VP


Public technical documents

As time goes on, we'll open up more of our design documents and code to public access. For now, we offer a small archive.


Off-road test, August 2005