Intel’s vision for cars with eyes, brains and touch

June 27, 2008

Who could forget the lovable robotic VW Junior?

How much easier would life be out there with a car that could park itself, suss out other cars, and make decisions for the driver?  Once just part of the popular imagination, these possibilities are slowly becoming closer to being realised.

Perhaps not in the form of walking, talking intelligent humanoids, but certainly the robotic devices that assist us in our daily living and in industry. Robotic vacuum machines and lawn mowers are now commonplace.  In fact the world of personal robotics for technology companies is big business!!  There is a global race to develop smart machines based on robotic concepts.

Just like the State of Victoria in Australia has a 2030 plan for sustainable development,  according to the BBC,  the South Korean Government’s target is that every household have a robot by the year 2020.

Intel have released details of their visionary products having various applications from self-navigating cars with multicore processor based computers as a brain to futuristic projects in the field of health care, the environment and wireless networks.  Intel’s future vision revolves around cars with eyes and processors with engines.

Having foreseen the inevitable, that robots will continue to feature more and more in out daily lives, Intel is focusing on their utility, in particular building sensors so that robots have a better sense of touch.  Just as a shark uses electromagnetic fields to sense what is in their midst, Intel figure that using electromagnetic fields with robotic hands will enable machines to judge the optimum amount of pressure to pick up items without breaking them.

Concrete examples Intel give are a robotic bartender who knows how to handle glasses without breaking them,  listen and respond meaningfully to their patrons’ woes,  and robots that are gentle enough to give grandma a helping hand out of the couch.

Intel’s innovative research is focusing on the way to multiply the number of cores in processing, by building tiny chips and adding customised core engines which are task specific,  for example for encryption.

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