Pribot Robotic Prius Tours 'Frisco

A robotic Toyota Prius called 'Pribot' went for a drive around San Francisco earlier this month. The self-driving car used computer maps and GPS to find its way around without human assistance.


(Pribot robotic car)

Pribot is the creation of engineer Anthony Levandowski, a 28 year-old resident of San Francisco. Technovelgy readers may recall that he also created the Ghostrider self-steering cycle - see Ghostrider Robot: Sterling's Smart Motorcycle? for a refresher course on this 2004 device.

In preparation for last week's 25-minute drive, Levandowski drove the route in advance a few days before, scanning the surroundings with a pulsed laser. "We built a precise map of what the area downtown looks like," he said.

That's what Pribot used to navigate the course. More precisely, the 'bot relied on a combination of GPS, inertial guidance, and a pair of infrared lasers that scanned its surroundings and compared its location with the previously built 3D map.

Yet because robotic vision remains nowhere near as flexible as human eyesight, 'bots need more accuracy than GPS can generally deliver. Levandowski found a solution in the RTK base station sold by Topcon, a Pribot sponsor, which typically sells to farmers aiming to do carefully aimed seeding and fertilizing. RTK boasts an accuracy of one inch or less, as long as the base station is no more than 3 to 6 miles away.

SF readers of course recall the wonders of fictional self-driving cars, like Heinlein's 1941 Camden speedster.

When you're done admiring Pribot, just leave the driving to 'bots with these self-driving cars and related technologies:

Via CNET.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/17/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Vehicle ")

Cattle Avoidance Feature In Indian Autonomous Cars
'The driver went about the business of gently slipping the teflon-coated metal scoop beneath the first animal...' - Allan Dean Foster, 2006.

Tesla Autopilot's 40 Percent Crash Reduction
''I hope all those other cars are on automatic,' he said anxiously.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1976

Cormorant Flying Car
'The cab came floating down out of the sky...' - James Blish, 1957.

Star Wars Speeder Bikes! On Water, By Jetovator
'Hey, wait!' Now, you don't need to say that.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

TALOS Exoskeleton Development Proceeding
'Suited up, you look like a big steel gorilla...'

Autonomous Robots Navigate Like Rats
'Out of warrens in the wall, tiny robot mice darted.'

SINTEF Robot Cleans Solar Panels
'The window cleaners, with large padded feet...'

Pangorin Restaurant Service Robots
What'll you have? Jawa juice?

Drug Creates Real Melanin Tan
I've used them all my life...

Medical Drones Hover Like Angels Near You
'The death-reversal equipment is on its way...'

SkEye Amazing Israeli Gigapixel Drone
'An eye that could not only see, but fly...'

How Rude! DARPA Wants Robots To Behave More Like Threepio
'Do I know protocol? Why, it's my primary function.'

'Liquid Light' Flows Around Corners
Light as a superfluid.

Unrolling The Filmy Materials Of Space Tech
'When unfolded and unrolled... it became a tough, gleaming film.'

Buddy Companion Robot Your Bulbous Friend
'Nanny was built in the shape of a sphere, a large metal sphere, flattened on the bottom...'

Poli-X1 Prototype Bee Pollinator
Is there anything drones can't do?

Bake in Space Bake-Off... In Space!
'A joyous condition commenced for the cook in the electric kitchen...'

DeepMind AI Baffled By Homer Simpson, Needs Human Help
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off...'

Does Earth's Middle Mantle Hold Oceans Of Water?
Al Gore, you have no idea.

Vaccine Blocks Heroin High
'You're biochemically incapable of getting off...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.