We cross roads every day on our way to school or work.
This is one of the most common tasks, but it can also be very dangerous. Often the cause of an accident is attributed to poor visibility of pedestrians or a speeding driver.
“Robots have been present in highly-controlled and predictable environments for decades. Due to the extraordinary progress in robotics, they are also moving to less predictable environments where they can offer us help,” says Špela Rode from AV Living Lab.
The robot is a kind of moving traffic light with smart and ultrasonic sensors and cameras. When a pedestrian wants to cross the crosswalk, the robot determines when it is safe to do so and moves to the middle of the road.
It then warns drivers to reduce their speed and lets pedestrians know when it is safe to cross. Through V2X communication, it communicates with nearby vehicles to reduce their speed.
This technology was tested in Ljubljana, Modena, and Milan.
“The responses were very good. We collected excellent feedback on the shape of the robot and what the visual and voice signaling could be,” says Špela Rode .
The research also explored many ideas and needs where such an assistant could come into play. It’s predicted that we can optimistically expect to see these robots in practice within a year.
This kind of intelligent robot assistant can provide children with a safer way to school and home without the constant presence of traffic police or city security.Špela Rode, AV Living Lab
V2X communication is a combination of vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication.
- How can we already use robots?
- Why are children and the elderly often involved in accidents?
- How can we be more visible on the road?
The original version of this article was published on November 9th.