Nissan, in partnership with Tokyo University’s Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, and its Kanzaki/Takahashi Lab, have developed the BR23C (Biomimetic Robot Car), or Bee for short. The 60cm tall robot demonstrates crash-avoidance technology that may prove useful in future vehicles.
The Bee takes its nickname and inspiration from a bee’s compound eyes, which detect approaching natural enemies and obstacles while flying. Instead of a compound eye, the BR23C uses a laser range finder with a forward visibility of 180 degrees, which provides nearly instantaneous, high-resolution obstacle detection.
Like a bee, the BR23C can take evasive action so long as the obstacle is outside of a certain distance from itself. This creates a kind of “safety shield”, where the robot (or car) will automatically adjust its speed and heading to avoid a crash. It is expected that self-driving vehicles will be common in the future as a means of preventing accidents and increasing fuel efficiency.
Nissan fist demonstrated the BR23C to the public at CEATEC 2008 (September 30th – October 4th). The demonstration involved two robots circling inside a pen while avoiding each other and human presenters. The Bee’s design, especially its head, is loosely based on the same shape as that of Pivo-kun, Nissan’s other robotic agent, developed with NEC.
- Nissan BR23C (official press release JP)
- Tokyo University RCAST (JP/EN)
- Kanzaki/Takahashi Lab (official page EN/JP)
- Nissan BR23C @ Impress Robot Watch (JP)
Impress Robot Watch | Akihabara News