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 ")

Pegasus, Nvidia Supercomputer For Autonomous Driving
'...a 2045 convertible with a Hennis-Carleton positronic motor and an Armat chassis.' - Isaac Asimov, 1953.

Dubai Scorpion Police Hoverbike Ready To Pull Young Kirk Over
'Is there a problem, officer?'

Korean Tesla Model S Video 'Excelsior' Is Indeed Our Motto
'Improving man by bringing him close to Nature, while they combine the sensations of coasting with the interest of seeing the country well...'

Autonomous Cars Talk To Each Other At MCity
'My cars talk to one another.' - Isaac Asimov, 1953.

 

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

Pegasus, Nvidia Supercomputer For Autonomous Driving
'...a 2045 convertible with a Hennis-Carleton positronic motor and an Armat chassis.'

Loihi Chip Mimics Human Brain's Neurons And Synapses
'You can hook a Thorsen tube into a control circuit... and the tube will "remember" what was done and can direct the operation...'

Self-Assembling Bacteria Build A Pressure Sensor
Nature is a master of fabricating structured materials consisting of living and non-living components.

3D Printed Artificial Muscles Are Stronger Than Yours
Bots don't need to work out.

Fog Computing (AKA Edge Computing) Ad Hoc Networks
'The tiny devices chirped their impulse codes at one another...'

Dubai Scorpion Police Hoverbike Ready To Pull Young Kirk Over
'Is there a problem, officer?'

HEXA Robotic Help For Plants
Then some unknown race had chanced upon the dreamers and decided to "help them out."

Korean Tesla Model S Video 'Excelsior' Is Indeed Our Motto
'Improving man by bringing him close to Nature, while they combine the sensations of coasting with the interest of seeing the country well...'

DIY Robot Shoots You In The Face
'...there were automatic guns that fired ligamine darts.'

A Bayesian Approach to Safe Imitation Learning For AIs and Robots
Um, how about that pension for the humans who serve as the models for robot behavior?

Qoobo Headless Robotic Therapy Cat Was Anne McCaffrey's Idea
'...used as surrogates in intense dependency cases.'

Autonomous Cars Talk To Each Other At MCity
'My cars talk to one another.'

PUFFER Robots - From Philip K DIck's Second Variety?
'Across the ground something small and metallic came, flashing in the dull sunlight of midday.'

Russian Space Garden
'We saw the gardens, flooded with artificial sunlight...'

Targeted Neuroplasticity Training For 'Downloading Skills'
'I know kung-fu.'

U of M's MCity To Feature Asimov's Automatobuses
Should you turn autonomous buses 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.