The world's first humanoid driver.

in Popular STEMlast month

The world's first humanoid driver.



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New approach to autonomous driving technology.


Japanese researchers have released stunning images of a human robot sitting behind the wheel of a micro electric car, exploring a new approach to autonomous driving technology.


Autonomous driving currently relies on an arsenal of advanced technologies such as cameras, GPS, complex algorithms and control systems, all working together to ensure vehicles navigate the streets safely, however, the University of Tokyo and the team at Musashi robots are challenging this approach.




Musashi's abilities


This rather strange-looking humanoid developed in 2019 was created as a test platform for learning control systems, with human proportions and a joint and muscle structure inspired by the human body, musashi is now being trained to drive a car autonomously. With a high-resolution camera in place of each eye, Musashi can twist and tilt his head to get different views of his surroundings by checking the side mirrors or looking ahead.


Its five-fingered robotic hands control the steering wheel, pull the parking brake, turn the key or push the start button and operate the turn signals, its grippy feet press the brake and accelerator pedals when necessary.



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Advantages of a Multipurpose Humanoid.


Musashi is at the helm of a micro electric car called Coms launched by Toyota in 2012 equipped with a Wi-Fi huter and an Intel NCK PC for reconnaissance. The robot performs driving tasks at the Kashiwa campus of the University of Tokyo, during musashi tests. demonstrating the ability to brake by detecting a human or hearing a horn, as well as responding to traffic lights, however, the software still faces challenges on inclined terrain and on curves that take longer to execute.


Although autonomous driving by humanoids like musashi is still in an early stage, it promises several advantages: it will not be necessary to modify the vehicles and the robot will be able to perform other tasks between trips, such as shopping and helping at home, and the sensor-filled robot can serve as a crash test dummy for automakers.



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