Nissan schooled by fish behaviour
This cute little robot uses the behaviour fish exhibit when swimming in schools to interact with each other to avoid bumps and collisions, while using compound eyes similar to a bee's.
"In our ongoing quest to develop collision-avoidance systems for the next generation of automobiles, we needed to look no further than to Mother Nature to find the ultimate form of collision-avoidance systems in action, in particular, the behavioral patterns of fish," explained Toru Futami, engineering director of advanced technology and research.
The Nissan research and development team has previously used bumblebees to help develop the Biometric Car Robot Drive.
EPORO uses the compound eyes inspired by the honey-collectors. The Laser Range Finder technology in the eyes, allows EPORO to see more than 300-degrees, along with other technologies to help calculate the distance of obstacles, and its robot friends, then reposition accordingly to avoid a potential incident.
Nissan created the Biometic Car Robot Drive so that it would detect obstacles at a split-second and instantly change direction, imitating bee behaviour. The Biometric Car Robot Drive would turn its wheels at 90 degrees or more to avoid an accident.
Six EPOROs have been created which communicate among themselves, monitoring each other's positions to travel side-by-side or in single file.
Futami further added: "Fish follow these three rules: Don't go away too far, don't get too close and don't hit each other. Fish form schools with these three rules.
"So if cars can perform the same type of thing within a group and move accordingly, we should be able to have more cars operate with the same width roads. This would lead to more cars, but with less traffic congestion."
EPORO communicate with each other at junctions and intersections, deciding which would go forward and which would stop.
"In current traffic laws, cars are supposed to drive within the lanes and come to a halt at stop signals, but if all cars were autonomous, the need for lanes and even signals could be gone," said Futami.
These technologies will be used in future generation of Nissan's vehicles and count towards its ambitious quest of autonomous cars by 2020.
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