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Feb. 22 – Sunnyvale, Cal. – Seven small robots could help change the fundamental way we get around forever. These little chick-like creatures made by Nissan Motor Company are called EPOROs – or zero emission robot car concepts. They run on electricity and use algorithms to move in harmony or in solitude. This was the first time the EPOROs visited the United States, making their debut at the newly-minted Nissan Research Center – Silicon Valley.

Engineer Susumu Fujita created these robots in 2009. He says the robots’ behavior is inspired by the way fish swim. They move in schools, in streams, and avoid obstacles.

While Nissan’s ongoing research aims at creating collision-free vehicles based on its safety concept Safety Shield, new technologies used in EPORO also aim to improve migration efficiency of a group of vehicles and contribute to an environmentally friendly and traffic jam-free driving environment.

“The technology in these robots is similar to what will be used to build and perfect an autonomous car. The EPORO can already follow the leader, even if the leader is me,” said Fujita-san.

The technology in these robots has already helped inspire innovation now seen in the company’s cars. Technologies like intelligent brake assist and forward collision warning are features somewhat similar to what is seen in the robots.

These EPOROs are pushing ideas of what’s possible onto a new fast track of the future.

Engineering, Research and Development, Robotics, Technology

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