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Nissan's Collision-Avoidance Research Takes Inspiration from Bees

October 15, 2008

TOKYO, Japan --- Nissan Motor Co. has taken a lesson from bees to develop a two-wheeled mobile robot that can avoid collisions with objects in its path.

The BR23C was developed in collaboration with the University of Tokyo.

Although Nissan has no plans to commercialize the robot, the company hopes to use the technology for electric cars like the Pivo 2, a battery-powered concept car that can move in any direction on its four freely rotating wheels.

The BR23C robot employs an avoidance mechanism similar to that of a bee, which moves reflexively to avoid colliding with objects that come into the forward view of its eyes. In place of these eyes, the robot has a vision sensor that can detect objects in a 180-degree range in the forward direction. If the same kind of sensor were fitted to the back of the robot, it would have 360-degree collision-avoidance vision.


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