Fish Behavior Inspires Collision Avoidance Robot

Greg Galitzine : Robotics
Greg Galitzine

Fish Behavior Inspires Collision Avoidance Robot

Fish-inspired collision avoidance technology is at the center of Nissan Motor's new "EPORO" robot car, a concept vehicle that is designed to travel in a group of similar vehicles, avoiding obstacles and each other. Developers have the robots mimicking the patterns of a school of fish, which helps avoid collisions.


EPORO.jpgNissan plans to showcase the technology -- and a group of six new EPORO robot vehicles October 6-10 at CEATEC JAPAN 2009, an exhibition of cutting-edge electronic and information technologies.


According to the company, three rules of fish behavior were modeled and applied to EPORO's driving control. Fish recognize the surroundings based on lateral-line sense and sense of sight and form schools based on these behavior rules. A laser range finder is used for lateral-line sense, while ultra-wideband (UWB) communications technology is utilized for the sense of sight.


The communication technologies being showcased in EPORO enable the robot cars to share the position and information of others within the group.


"We recreated the behavior of a school of fish making full use of cutting-edge electronic technologies," said Toshiyuki Andou, Manager of Nissan's Mobility Laboratory and principal engineer of the robot car project. "By sharing the surrounding information received within the group via communication, the group of EPOROs can travel safely, changing its shape as needed." 

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