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Botropolis: This week in robots

Posted in Robots by Conner Flynn on October 2nd, 2009

Botropolis: This week in robotsThe weekend is upon us once again. Friday is definitely a day for celebrating. Celebrating the fact that you weren’t injured, maimed or killed by one of humanity’s mechanical creations. Congratulations, you made it through the week in one piece. But how many more weeks do we have? No one knows. I only know that Blue Oyster Cult was right. Don’t fear the Reaper. Fear the robots. Here’s some of what we covered this week over at Botropolis.

OmniZero.9: He transforms, gives humans rides.

DARPA: Remote-controlled cyborg beetles.

Use your head: Robot controlled by thought.

Rock: Nissan mystery vehicle

Posted in Concepts by Conner Flynn on June 14th, 2009

Rock: Nissan mystery vehicleThe folks over at Yanko Design came across this mysterious miniature vehicle named ROCK. Sure, it looks like Darth Helmet’s head on wheels. Very little is known about the device except the obvious: It is dark and ominous and possibly how cats will take over the world.

It was created by designer Alberico J. Camacho and sports a tiny Nissan logo. That’s Really all we know, but it seems to be some kind of music player, like a more robust Sony Rolly. The ROCK could also be a scale model prototype for a concept car that Camacho worked up for Nissan.

Nissan’s robot “car” that thinks it’s a bumblebee

Posted in Robots by Conner Flynn on September 29th, 2008

Nissan’s robot “car” that thinks it’s a bumblebeeNature is always the best model, whether you’re building robots or…other human made monstrosities. And with that in mind, Nissan has applied the idea to the Biomimetric Car Robot or BR23C. The robot car is modeled after Bee behavior in order to prevent car collisions and thereby eliminate accident casualties.

The BR23C adopts a bee’s eye view of the world. The insects rely on a 300-degree field of vision to identify obstacles and avoid them. Likewise the robot, using a Laser Range Finder (LRF) uses a 180-degree radius vision to detect obstacles two meters away. The image is transmitted to a microprocessor, which directs the robot to change direction or speed up in order to avoid a collision. In other words, avoiding collisions is all instinct.

Nissan Eco Pedal saves gas

Posted in Automotive by Conner Flynn on August 4th, 2008

Nissan Eco Pedal saves gasThe Nissan Eco Pedal helps you to save gas by pressing the gas pedal upward when the vehicle is moving too quickly for it’s own good. Nissan claims that the system can improve fuel efficiency by as much as 10%.

The Eco Pedal is programmed to calculate the most efficient rate of acceleration in a given vehicle, so it’s not for those with a lead foot. That’s why Nissan included the option to disable it when necessary. I imagine it would give your leg a good workout as well. You push, it pushes back. Hopefully your wallet will get thicker so you can buy more gadgets.