We're always hearing about some fantastical, nigh-mythical creation that Carnegie Mellon University is in the midst of cobbling together from spare parts, crazy ideas, and pure, simple genius, so maybe we shouldn't be frothing over the new robotic truck they've partnered up with Caterpillar to create, but this one promises to be the "world's largest." Adapting software CMU used in the DARPA Urban Challenge, the team hopes to end up with fully automated, 700-ton trucks capable of moving up to 42 miles per hour which will be used for mining. The trucks would theoretically reduce costs, increase productivity, and save lives. The Frankenstein-ed vehicles will boast GPS, laser range finders to identify large obstacles, video equipment, and a "robotic driver." The scientists somewhat predictably foresee some (as of now) rather far-fetched consumer applications in cars and trucks over the "next five to ten years," but we're taking that with a few salt grains for now. The trucks aren't ready quite yet but we hear their arrival is imminent, and and we can only imagine that somewhere in the world, Grave Digger is crying to himself.

Update: We've changed the title to reflect the accurate arrangement, which is a teaming up of CMU and Caterpillar, not DARPA. Thanks to the commenter who pointed that out.