Cute RoboCars Plan Future Auto-nomy

robocarHow cute are these little fellas?

These clever RoboCars will be used by researchers to experiment with autonomous vehicle systems.

Each little bot is kitted out with a stack of sensors and clever tech including the likes of CCD stereo cameras, image recognition sensors, accelerometers, proximity sensors and Wi-Fi.

“We have received orders for nearly 100 units, and about half of the orders are from abroad,” said Hisashi Taniguchi, president and CEO of ZMP.

The car robot is controlled by the Linux operating system. ZMP provides an application development environment for Windows and Linux PCs, utilizing the “MATLAB/Simulink” model-based development tool.

“Steering can be controlled in increments of 0.1° at an accuracy of about 0.5°,” Taniguchi said. “The steering accuracy of radio control cars is only about 5°.”

The idea is to give researchers a platform on which to test their vehicle control tech that’s smaller, more hackable and, most importantly, cheaper than a full-size car.

It’s still not that cheap, at about $6000, but that’s a far sight less than a proper car – especially those remote contolled Mercs that have been loaded up with all the relevant technology.

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