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 ")

Tesla Semi 'Electrotruck' Unveiled
Elon Musk unveils yet another technological marvel.

Audi Traffic Jam Pilot Knows If You're Sleeping
'Even here, riding a garbage truck to eternity, the machine watched him...' - Harry Harrison, 1956.

Ionity Ultra-fast Charging Station Network
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'- John Jacob Astor IV, 1894.

E-Fuso eCanter Electric eTruck
I prefer the 'electro' prefix, personally.

 

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

Nifty New SDS Space Debris Sensor For ISS
'Their radars... could easily pinpoint the debris of the early Space Age.'

NanoRacks Space Station Module Concept Validated
Space junk into space architecture.

Nuclear Drones Could Fly For Years
'I sent my eyes on their rounds and tended my gallery of one hundred-thirty changing pictures...'

SciFiQ Science Fiction Writing Aid
'Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces.'

Robot Only Faster, Not Better, At Recycling
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off... it puts whatever it is in the hopper outside your window.'

Poland Starts With 1000 Warmate 'Suicide Drones'
'Royal Security had told the pods to electrocute you or blast you into chum.'

Dream Of Building Your Own Rocket?
Fiorello Bodoni, you inspire all of us.

Zero Mass 'Vaporators' Pull Drinking Water From The Air
Did you think of Star Wars?

Elon Musk Fears A 'Fleet-Wide Hack' Of Autonomous Vehicles
'Khan grinned. 'It's alive! Bu-wahhahahah!''

China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
'Can you give us a microwave spotlight?'

iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
Doctor shortage? No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.

Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.'

Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Also includes wonderful blooper reel.

RNA-Based Biocomputing Device
Living things can sense and analyze complex signals in living cells.

Seasteading Floating Cities
'It was a remarkable island, circular, about half a kilometer in diameter.'

Tesla Semi 'Electrotruck' Unveiled
Elon Musk unveils yet another technological marvel.

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.