Nissan unveils mobile robot that can dodge like a bee

Nissan Motor, in cooperation with the University of Tokyo, has developed a two-wheeled mobile robot [JP] that can avoid collisions with objects in its path. The French/Japanese car maker said the so-called BR23C employs an avoidance mechanism similar to that of a bee (which avoids collisions even when flying with other bees in a swarm). The technology is being developed to prevent car collisions in future Nissan models.

The “biomimetic” robot has a vision sensor that enables it to detect objects in a 180 degree range in the forward direction (up to 2 meters). Nissan said if a second sensor were placed at the back of BR23C, it could even achieve an avoidance system encompassing 360 degrees. When detecting an object, the robot is able to quickly move around it or turn around.

Nissan has no plans to commercialize the robot at this point but thinks it can use the technology for electric vehicles like its own PIVO 2. BR23C is powered by lithium-ion polymer batteries.