Commercial Robotics

Robotic Traffic Cones

Posted 30 Apr 2004 at 15:41 UTC by steve Share This

NewScientist published an article Wednesday on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln project to develop self-propelled, robotic highway safety markers. Developed by the UNL Robotics and Mechatronics Lab, the robots are designed to improve safety by assuring correct work zone shapes. The robots can quickly deploy and reconfigure when needed to adjust the shape and size of the work zone. The work was done as part of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program's IDEA project. The story has been picked up by Slashdot, the BBC (includes photos), and from there has been turning up in local papers everywhere.

That ought to cost a lot, posted 30 Apr 2004 at 19:36 UTC by earlwb » (Master)

Robot traffic cones are all great and such, but considering the huge numbers that are struck by vehicles, it is going to be expensive. I can visualize a bunch of traffic cones moving out to block a lane, and some idiot in a automobile, goes through about 10 of those $2,000 traffic cones.

Self healing networks, posted 3 May 2004 at 21:36 UTC by tim.holt » (Journeyer)

This is/would be a neat application of self healing networks. One cone goes offline, gets whacked, etc. and the others move in to fill the gap as they can. I'd also think they could "report in" the loss or damage to a cone if one did get hit.

It would be cool to use this idea for crowd control - like barricades that shift a bit. Perhaps you've got a lot of people all jambed up entering a space with multiple doors. There's room for more people on the right, so the barricades on the right open up a bit, or shift a bit to make people "go right" a bit more.

Give Us a Break, posted 5 May 2004 at 03:43 UTC by The Swirling Brain » (Master)

What happens when a traffic cone malfunctions? >:-> (evil grin)

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