Cars may one day mimic fish to avoid collisions

Oct 01, 2009
Robot cars designed by Nissan travel in group and move to avoid obstacles at a press preview at the company's headquarters in Yokohama, suburban Tokyo. With these robots, engineers in Japan say they are a step closer to developing technology they hope will cut the risk of car crashes -- by mimicking the behaviour of fish.

Engineers in Japan say they are a step closer to developing technology they hope will cut the risk of car crashes -- by mimicking the behaviour of fish.

The experts at have been studying fish and the way they are able to swim in schools and avoid colliding with each other.

The result is a that can travel in a group of up to seven, avoiding bumps by sharing information with its peers.

The firm hopes to use the technology in its vehicles in future.

The three-wheeled robot uses a laser range finder, which measures the distance to an obstacle, and radio communications to recreate the behaviour of fish, which can change direction and travel side by side without colliding.

Last year Nissan unveiled a similar robot inspired by the bumblebee, which is also highly adept at avoiding collisions but travels solo.

"We, in a motorised world, have a lot to learn from the behaviour of a school of in terms of each fish's degree of freedom and safety," said Toshiyuki Andou, the principal engineer in the project.

By sharing information, the group can travel safely, changing its shape as needed, Andou said.

Nissan will demonstrate the technology at the CEATEC electronics trade fair in next week.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: IBM's Watson advises US soldiers on life after service

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nissan rolls out electric car at new headquarters

Aug 02, 2009

(AP) -- Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn drove quietly out of the Japanese automaker's soon-to-open headquarters Sunday in the first public viewing of its new zero-emission vehicle.

Fish-shaped robot for underwater research

Dec 16, 2004

The project of underwater bionic robotic fish co-developed by the Institute of Robot under Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (BUAA) and the Institute of Automation under Chinese Academy of Sciences ...

Recommended for you

Medical advances turn science fiction into science fact

Jul 18, 2014

Exoskeletons helping the paralysed to walk, tiny maggot-inspired devices gnawing at brain tumours, machines working tirelessly as hospital helpers: in many respects, the future of medicine is already here.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

ScottyB
Oct 01, 2009
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
ArtflDgr
not rated yet Oct 01, 2009
i wonder if they knew about the "flocking" software of BOIDS?

i notice that we are now reinventing a lot because people in different domains dont step out of them to even find in other areas the work done.