Forget self-driving cars, robot driver Musashi takes on Tokyo roads

The concept of driverless cars has generated considerable excitement in recent times. Large companies have devoted a significant share of their research and development efforts to developing such autonomous driving technologies.

Researchers at the University of Tokyo have proposed a new, simpler, and cost-effective approach to the concept: giving humanoid robots the reins of cars for autonomous operations.

The team used a musculoskeletal humanoid robot named Musashi, designed to mimic the human body closely. The robot is expected to be capable of sitting in a car seat and operating the acceleration and brake pedals.

According to researchers, the robot’s flexibility, variable stiffness structure, and multiple sensors enabled it to perform steering wheel operations with both arms and recognize humans in the side mirror.

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