[LINK] Robot mini
ivan at itrundle.com
Tue Mar 16 14:00:12 EST 2004
This has to be seen to be believed... (and I'm not sure that I do, even
after viewing the videos)
Vehicle to autonomous biped robot conversion for the Mini Cooper r50.
"I first had the vision to build a robot while working as an engineer
on the old Mini Coopers in the late 1960s. There were no real robots at
the time of course, so it was purely science-fiction. But I always
believed a robot would be the most natural complement to the automobile
- a full biped, intelligent version having great strength, dexterity
and a library of mechanical knowledge. I imagined a robot with the
ability to repair vehicles, direct traffic and watch over high-accident
crossroads to preempt accidents.
This ambition started to look possible when work began on the new Mini.
I've always believed BMW overbuilds many of their parts, so the
over-building of certain Mini applications for my robotics use went
unnoticed. In 1998, I began tests in a remote location outside Oxford.
In 2000 I thought my formal connection to Mini might be severed when
Rover was sold by BMW. Luckily, BMW chose to retain the Mini brand.
Subsequently, a few engineers would need to stay in England - Oxford to
be exact. I was slated for retirement and was originally from the
Oxford area so it raised little suspicion when I offered to stay. From
then on, progress was swift."
(the car-stopping exercise is dramatic, to say the least...)
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