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• BR23C

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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.

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Image credits:
Impress Robot Watch | Akihabara News

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