Sci-fi movies imagine worlds where robots rebel against their creators and try to take over, but in reality there have been several studies and inventions that use robotics to help out humans in areas such as hospitals and schools. One European team of scientists has a created a team of robots that can get you out of a jam.
AVERT, which stands for Autonomous Multi-Robot System for Vehicle Extraction and Transportation, is made up of four tiny robots and a larger deployment unit that lifts vehicles up to two tons. Fitted with two lasers and a digital camera, the robot scans the area looking for possible obstacles and plans the safest way to remove them.
The small robots are then deployed and attach themselves to the wheels of the vehicle that needs extraction. It barely lifts the car an inch off the ground, but it’s enough for the tiny bots to safely move the car. Before you start saving up money to have your own AVERT to help move your car when it runs out of gas, the device was specifically developed to be used by law enforcement.
AVERT can be used to remove suspicious or obstructing vehicles from enclosed spaces, like buildings, tunnels, underground car garages, and low bridges. Since AVERT has delicate handling, there’s no need to worry about the vehicles getting damaged.
In addition, these bots also presents a safe way to remove cars that may be carrying explosives or other hazardous materials without human intervention, though it can be overridden by a remote operator.
Right now, the team of scientists are busy showing the robot at different conferences, including the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA2015), May 26-30 in Seattle. The system has been in development since 2012 and production is expected to start sometime in 2016.
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