Tuesday, April 28, 2015

AVERT multi-robot system safely moves suspicious cars

If you ever need to move a car around without jerking it too much, then that's a task for the small robots deplyed by AVERT - and you'll wish you could use them to park your own car.

The AVERT (Autonomous Multi-Robot System for Vehicle Extraction and Transportation) would be extremely helpful to park your can in (or out of) tight spots, but unfortunately it seems to have been designed for use in more perilous situations: to move suspicious cars around, allowing for further inspection in places where it won't cause any harm.

There's a main unit that can map the surroundings in 3D and plan for the most efficient route, but the actual work is done by small robotic assembly than can place itself under the car and then gently lift its wheels and move it to wherever we want. One can easily imagine such system being used for automatic parking lots, where it could park the cars in the most efficient way, with no need for the extra space allowing humans to enter/exit the car.

Sad thing is, for such a high-tech project, it's appalling to see a gallery page that commits one of the web's cardinal sins: with dozens of thumbnail images... that are actually the original images weighing in over 3 or 4MB each, making the entire page use over 70MB of data (probably much more, but I simply stopped counting by that point).

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