CEATEC 2008: Nissan’s biomimetic car robot BR23C

Nissan’s booth at CEATEC 2008 with the latest model Nissan March (Micra in other countries)

Nissan has one of the most interesting booths in CEATEC where they introduced their biomimetic car robot BR23C. This robotic micro-car is a the product of the joint research between the company and the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Tokyo. The BR23C is equipped with a prototype collision-prevention system developed from the way bees avoid obstacles on their paths.

The BR23C is expected to support the future development of Nissan’s collision-avoidance systems, according to the company’s website:

BR23C is one of many new safety technologies that Nissan is working as part of its ‘Safety Shield’ concept – an advanced, proactive approach to safety issues based on the idea that cars should help protect people. The approach classifies driving risks and accidents into six stages. It is Nissan’s goal to halve the number of automobile accident fatalities or serious injuries involving its vehicles by 2015 compared to 1995.

Looking at the two BR23Cs moving about in Nissan’s booth, I can’t help but notice that they look like toys. However, these hi-tech robots are equipped with Nissan’s collision-avoidance technology that will soon be installed in their future cars. (I drive a Nissan March, by the way.)

Nissan spokeswomen show the crowd how the BR23C’s avoid collision in a tight space.

BR23C up close. Now that I’ve thought about it, these little robots do look like oversized bugs moving about.