A team of European scientists have created tiny robots that can move and transport a car with very little intervention from humans.
These robots, called Autonomous Multi-Robot System for Vehicle Extraction and Transportation (AVERT) can even lift vehicles that weigh up to two tons. Meant for use in law enforcement, the robots can safely move vehicles that may contain explosives away from high areas of human population and to a more remote location.
According to Engadget, as the robots move the vehicles, they can survey the areas around them and plan their routes, working their way around any obstacles that might get in their path.
"In Europe, terrorism threatens horrific loss of life, extensive disruption to city transport and damage to commercial real estate," states AVERT's website. "Vehicles provide an ideal delivery mechanism for improvised explosive devices because they can be meticulously prepared well in advance of deployment and then brought into the Area of Operations."
Watch the video below to get an idea of how AVERT works:
The team behind AVERT hope to begin commercial production by 2016, although the system has already been demonstrated to five potential European countries and businesses.
"AVERT can provide an autonomous capability to remove blocking vehicles which is not currently available," writes the website. "Remote operation, self-powered and onboard sensors provides a new capability that can operate alongside existing technologies, thereby enhancing bomb disposal response, speed and safety."
Of course, this idea could also find use in parking. Imagine firing the valets and having robots park cars and deliver them to patrons instead? Such a system would probably result in far fewer dings and dents on vehicles and could prove much more efficient than using human drivers.
Until that happens, though, Rice University researchers have taken some of the hassle out of parking by creating a new technology that points drivers directly to open spots in parking lots and garages.
The AVERT system could also be used by by law enforcement, and other companies, to safely tow vehicles from one location to another. There are a lot of possibilities here for AVERT, so let's hope the scientists behind it look into all of those concepts.
[Photo Credit: AVERT Project]