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Un robot-taxi monoplaza pronto circulará por las calles japonesas

27 marzo 2013 - 19:30 - Autor:

Es el sueño de miles de no-conductores, lectores impenitentes y gente que, en general, no disfruta manejando el volante: un coche que se conduzca solo. Cada poco tiempo aparecen noticias que hablan del avance en este campo. Este nuevo invento vuelve a acercar el concepto de “El coche fantástico” a la vida real.

El vehículo que presenta Hitachi es eso: un robot que se conduce automáticamente por GPS. Recibe el nombre de “ROPITS: Robot for Personal Intelligent Transport System” y está diseñado para llevar gente con discapacidad y mercancías. Y la gran novedad es que no necesita ningún tipo de guía ni interacción con el pasajero humano, salvo cargar el destino. Y a relajarnos.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DBZFW1BYKKY

Muchos recordaréis el otro gran proyecto al respecto: el GoogleCar, del que ya os hablamos alguna vez, es también eléctrico y sin conductor. Sin embargo, este vehículo necesitaba que el usuario dictara al coche el destino a viva voz, y si fuera necesario, seleccionarlo en una lista de posibles destinos. El Ropits apenas cuenta con una ranura para USB en  la que descargar la trayectoria, aunque también lo podemos hacer vía wifi con una tablet.

Otra “ventaja” del Ropits es que es un vehículo para un solo pasajero, ligero y de escaso tamaño, lo que le permite circular por aceras: de hecho, está pensado para este tipo de superficies, más que para carreteras. Para guiarse no necesita más que un par de sistemas láser para evitar colisiones. La velocidad máxima que desarrolla es 10 km/h, así que tampoco hablamos de un vehículo especialmente peligroso. Por si acaso, hay posibilidad de que el pasajero bloquee el vehículo o tome el control con un joystick.

De momento se ha probado en una sola ciudad: Tsukuba, aunque con cierto éxito. Evidentemente, por sus características, será útil únicamente en entornos urbanitas. Quizá acabe sucediendo como en la ciudad de Masdar, donde una pequeña flota de coches autoconducidos que te llevan a un destino prefijado circulan alimentados por energía solar.

El Ropits será presentado en una feria de robótica que se celebrará en mayo en Japón. Por lo demás, podemos comenzar a pensar que el “Johnny Taxi” de ‘Desafío Total‘ no es que sea una realidad de aquí a nada: es que su interfaz va a quedar obsoleto. La verdad es que con lo feo que era el muñeco original, nos alegramos bastante de que así sea.

Vía The Guardian, Motherboard y Earthanindustries.

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