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Nissan Eporo robots exhibit fishy behaviour

At the CEATEC electronics trade show in Japan last week, Nissan showed off Eporo, a robotic car that not only mimics the behaviour of fish, but also manages to be very cute too.

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Derek Fung
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Not quite a vision of the future

At the CEATEC electronics trade show in Japan last week, Nissan showed off Eporo, a robotic car that not only mimics the behaviour of fish, but also manages to be very cute too.

The Eporo isn't what Nissan thinks the autonomous vehicles, circa 2049, will look like — a shame really — but it's actually a prototype phase for the company's collision avoidance and self navigation technologies.

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"Laser" vision

The Eporo "sees" the world via laser range finder, which detects obstacles and calculates their distance from the Eporo by bouncing laser light off them. An ultra-wideband radio is used to detect the Eporo's distance from its destination.

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Talk to me

Eporos will talk to other Eporos in its school, sharing information about positioning, speed and obstacles.

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Back to school

Fish schools adopt many shapes depending on the nature of its path, as well as obstructions in their way. Fish within a school will keep pace by swimming alongside its brothers and sisters at the same pace.

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Turning Japanese

Just in case you were curious, Eporo stands for Episode Zero Robot.

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6 of 7 Ty Pendlebury/CNET Australia

Cheer up lad!

Unfortunately when

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Float like a feather, sting like a (bumble)bee

Last year Nissan brought the rather more sinister looking BR23C to CEATEC. Like Eporo, it's a collision avoidance robot, but instead of being based on fish behaviour, its collision avoidance skills are derived from bumblebees. Bees, however, tend to fly alone, whereas fish generally swim in large schools.

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