My nephew who lives in Texas is always scanning eBay for good buys, and does a lot of his Christmas shopping that way. He also loves robots and technology, so finally eBay has something up for auction that both he and I would absolutely love to win - the Team Buffalo official robot vehicle that ran in this year's DARPA Grand Challenge competition.
Although Team Buffalo didn't end up winning the competition, they certainly made a valiant attempt. The vehicle is jam-packed with technology, know-how, and history. Along with the robot itself, Team Buffalo is including all of their development notes, digital data with photos, pdf files, videos, source code, 8 hours of shop time with the team, and two official Team Buffalo t-shirts.
There's a list of "Important Notes" included in the auction listing, and number 5 on the list is particularly heart-tugging and a little sad since if the robot had stayed in the competition longer they wouldn't be able to make the same statement:
"The vehicle has very few hours and is in excellent running condition. This vehicle has not been involved in any accidents and has not been abused. However, it does have a very minor oil leak and one broken bolt on the pull start cover. Consequently, the vehicle is being sold as-is, where is."
The auction bids are already at USD$2,175 with over a week left to go before the winner is declared. I suspect that some well-to-do Buffalo alumni will win the auction and donate the robot to a science museum in the area.