Wednesday, December 19, 2007

[ News, Science / Tech, December 13 2007] Korea develops mobile robot capable of autonomous movement

A Korean state-run research institute said Thursday (Dec. 13) that it has developed a mobile robot that can navigate in urban areas and in off-road conditions without outside human control.

The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) said its wheeled "Securo" robot is equipped with a built-in global positioning system (GPS), laser image scanner, compass and movement control mechanism that permits autonomous movement.

"It has been tested on a one-kilometer-long course, with very little deviations from the pre-set route," Kang Sung-chul, the chief robotics engineer at the institute said.

"All that is needed is to tell the robot where it must go, and mark what areas it should by-pass to reach its target," he said.

Securo moved at 5.4 kilometers per hour during its successful test run.

The expert said in the past, moving robots were usually remotely controlled by an operator because the GPS was ineffective near buildings or in a forest where it could not receive satellite signals.

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