Vehicle safety system mimics fish

Vehicle safety system mimics fish

Collisions between motorists may be almost totally avoidable in future if new robots pioneered by Japanese manufacturer Nissan are eventually incorporated into crash avoidance systems.

The tiny robots, known as Eporo, have been programmed to move in a fleet without bumping into their travelling companions - the concept mimicking the behaviour of fish who move in shoals.

The new three-wheeled robot, which will be shown off at Japanese design fair Ceatec on October 6, is designed to travel in a group of up to seven vehicles.

Each uses a laser range-finder to measure the distance between obstacles, and the data is constantly shared between peers via radio, allowing the group to travel as a "shoal" without bumping into each other.

The technique also enables the cars to travel side-by-side or quickly switch direction as a group.

"We, in a motorised world, have a lot to learn from the behaviour of a school of fish in terms of each fish's degree of freedom and safety," said Toshiyuki Andou, principal engineer of the project.

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