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Nissan Studies Collision-Free Vehicles with these Adorable Robots

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Nissan EPORO

The idea of robots scares some people thanks to movies like The Terminator and I, Robot, where robots become self-aware, realize humans are jerks, and start all kinds of chaos. Thankfully, when Nissan developed these EPORO robots to study collision-free vehicles, they made them really cute.

These chick-shaped robots use Laser Range Finder technology to get a sense of their surroundings and communicate with each other to avoid bumping into each other. They’re also able to drive around side-by-side or in single file. These features were inspired by natural anti-collision technologies found in schools of fish and the bumblebee’s compound eyes that give them such a wide field of view. The Laser Range Finder can detect obstacles up to 2 meters away, telling the EPORO to change direction instantly.

Nissan EPORO

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The principles that are demonstrated by these 21st-century Furbys may be applied to future autonomous vehicles, as the EPORO robots are able to communicate at intersections to decide which unit should stop and which should go. Toru Futami, director of advanced technology and research, had this to say, “In our ongoing quest to develop collision-avoidance systems for the next generation of automobiles, we needed to look no further than to Mother Nature to find the ultimate form of collision-avoidance systems in action, in particular, the behavioral patterns of fish.”

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Check out a video of these little Nissans in action below: