Sometimes, it is funny how things out in life. In recent years, especially the last, the talks of autonomous vehicle were pretty active with Google seems likely to be the first to embark on the world’s first. But then, suddenly there are a handful of them making head ways in autonomous drive. Among them was Swedish car maker, Volvo. Not only did the Volvo has made inroads in autonomous drive, the Swedish automaker has disclosed recently that the company has signed a non-exclusive framework agreement with Uber, the ride-sharing company, to supply “tens of thousands” of autonomous driving-compatible based vehicles between 2019 and 2021. Continue reading Volvo To Supply Uber With Autonomous Drive-compatible Cars
granted that the Grizzly Robotic Utility Vehicle might not be something an average ordinary folk would buy, but still its appeal to geeks are just about the same as any other gadgets on this planet. developed by Canadian robotic development firm Clearpath Robotics, the Grizzly Robotic Utility Vehicle is an autonomous four-wheel drive robotic platform that is designed aid you in lugging around your equipment – up to 600 kilograms (1,322 pounds) of it – while you and it make its way round some treacherous terrains. driving all its four wheels is a 80 horsepower (60 kW) electric motor and juiced by an array of marine-grade AGM sealed lead acid batteries that offers a combined output of 600 Ah. with this battery setup, it is capable of roving at 19 km/h (12 mph) for up to 12 hours, or 3 hours of some heavy-duty tow time. Continue reading Grizzly Robotic Utility Vehicle
(image credit: pritika.16 via Instructables)
we didn’t get to feature the remote controlled blimps that were quite an attraction during the last toy show but here’s one that you can make yourself while taking it a notch up. meet Ollie, the autonomous and ambient robot that has an Arduino for its brain, microphone for its ears and cute, undersized wings for maneuvering. Ollie is very much alive. he floats around, reacting excitedly by flapping his wings when you speaks or claps. Continue reading meet Ollie, the autonomous robotic blimp with flapping wings
(image credit: Desk Pets) Desk Pets TankBot | US$20.00 | www.mydeskpets.com
autonomous is no longer restricted to military use. it has now come to your desktop in the form of the Desk Pets TankBot, a completely autonomous (and adorable) vehicle on rubber tracks. the TankBot uses infrared sensors to ‘see’ and avoid obstacles, thus allowing it to autonomously navigate around. all you have to do is not let it fall off the desk. it can also be controlled with iPhone via its accompanying free app. the TankBot has a built-in rechargeable Lithium Polymer battery which provides a good 15 minutes of play on a single 30-minute full charge. charging is via USB port with the integrated USB flip out connector on TankBot.
the Desk Pets TankBot comes in four different colors and is slated for release this June with a MSRP of $20.
(image credit: ZMP RoboCar MEV) ZMP Electric Robot Car | from ¥2.8 million
this is amazing. a real working autonomous robot car that money can buy. announced recently by ZMP – who are not new to electric robot car – this new generation single-seater robot car has a newly developed autonomous system. the ZMP Robot Electric car is capable of driving itself with the help from stereo camera, inertial measurement unit or IMU, speed sensor and of course, laser range finders. Continue reading autonomous robot car available for purchase in Japan
(screenshot from YouTube video)
it seems like Kinect has more potential than just for gaming, which i supposed Microsoft should be proud of. this particular quadcopter, dubbed the Pelican UAV, is rigged with the Kinect, which serves as its ‘eyes’ by sending visual data to a Linux box onboard. this flying machine is thus capable of flying autonomously following the predefined waypoints, maintaining its own altitude and avoiding obstacles along the way.
this Kinect-rigged quadcopter is part of the STARMAC project of UC Berkeley’s Hybrid Systems Laboratory which is a multi vehicle testbed used to demonstrate new concepts in multi-agent control on real-world platform. this is really awesome and besides, using Kinect on this flying machine sure beat the hell out of trying to look silly in front of your TV.
(image credit: FireBox) BigTrak Jr. Programmable Rover | £29.99 | /www.bigtrakjr.com
while automobiles of the yesteryear are making a come back with modern technologies, toys are not missing out the resurrection party either. now get ready for BigTrak Junior – a compact (almost) palm-size brother of the original BigTrak from the 80s. yes, there are more to 80s than just shoulder pads. when personal computer was just at its infancy (in the 80s), a toy with the ability to be programed was a big thing and i bet it still stands true today. take it as a budget alternative to LEGO Mindstorms.
the BigTrak Jr has inherited the programming ability of the senior BigTrak plus some functions from the 21st century thrown in for good measures. to operate, simply punched in the desired commands, hit ‘GO’ and witness the BigTrak executes the sequence autonomously. this six-wheeler space rover can travel forwards, backwards, turn left and right. you can even program it to fire its ‘photo’ cannon while its executing its tour of duty.
(image credit: FireBox)
there are a couple of 21st century technologies thrown in such as the memory save function which allows you to write and save the program for future use. there is also an unique ‘active’ accessory port allowing it to utilize a number of add-on accessories (coming soon in 2011) to carry out its mission. some of the planned accessories include webcam and foam rocket launcher. sounds like quite a load of fun. soon BigTrak can do more than just patrolling round the supplied ‘moon crater’ obstacles but ‘transform’ into either a reconnaissance vehicle or an mobile artillery unit.
i would love to see a BigTrak as Radio Control vehicle plus the webcam and foam rocket launching ability. how about a gyroscope built-in to enable firing on the move? nah… i am just kidding but it will be good to have, isn’t it?