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What Robots See


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Launch slide show What Robots See

Robots don't see the world like humans do, at least not yet. They don't recognize discrete objects and have little common sense—that it's better to drive over a bush than a rock, for instance. Instead of seeing, today's robots measure. They use a variety of sensors—cameras, laser range finders, radar—to gauge the shape, slope, and smoothness of the terrain ahead. They then use these data to figure out how to stay on the road and avoid obstacles. At least that's the idea, but the DARPA Grand Challenge showed it's a lot harder than it sounds. Here, see a slide show of the major measuring techniques used by the various teams. To launch the slide show, click on the image at left.—Jason Spingarn-Koff



Jason Spingarn-Koff is coproducer (with Joe Seamans) of "The Great Robot Race."

  

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