Sunday, July 02, 2006

Slaloming Robot Car

VW build a robotic Golf GTI that can race a slalom course faster than (most?) humans. The story of a journalist trying to beat it is here (only german). Actually its a step back from the kind of cars we saw in the Grand Challenge, since this car only works in very limited environments and reacts only to clearly defined stimuli (a person standing on the slalom track would be run over). I still like it, because it points to the (likely) future where robots are much better and faster at navigating physical environments. No more movies where humans are loosing robots by racing through the wood (saw this once, don't remember which movie) - taking a route that needs quick responses would be the stupid thing to do if you where really beeing chased by robots.

Update: Found a description of the car in english: here.