We already know that robot cars will be taking over the highways and byways in the coming years, but what about robot drivers? Aldebaran Robotics and RobotsLab have recently partnered to unveil a version of the NAO robot that can autonomously drive a miniature BMW Z4.
The vehicle has an integrated laser range finder linked to an onboard Atmel based Arduino, which analyzes the vehicle’s surroundings and then relays steering inputs to the NAO unit in the driver’s seat. Additionally, the robot features a two-camera computer vision system, a sonar distance sensor, two infrared emitters and receivers, nine tactile and eight pressure sensors.
While out of the box, the robot and mini sports car work just fine, the entire platform is designed to be open-source. “Bring your craziest ideas to life, send your robot to do things for you, connect him to the internet and share his adventures with the world, create robot-apps and publish them on the NAO app store. There’s no limit to what you can do with that,” the team at RobotsLab writes.
The robot and ride pair will cost around $10,000, but if you are purchasing directly from RobotsLab, you can throw the code “TechCrunchie2014” in at checkout to drop $2,000 from the price. What a steal! No matter the price, the open-source platform makes this Atmel powered robotic tool ideal for implementation into STEM curriculums in high schools or universities.
For more information about this project, check out this overview from RobotsLab.