Nissan has developed an autopilot golf ballAugust 26, 2019
The Japanese automaker Nissan, together with Sphero, created a golf ball that can adjust its path so that it hits the hole, even if the player initially directed it in the wrong direction, according to a Nissan press release.
Allegedly, the device is based on a serial Sphero ball toy, controlled from a smartphone via Bluetooth. Inside the ball is a mechanism that shifts the center of gravity and makes it move in the right direction. Engineers replaced the toy body with a golf ball, and also created a special external tracking system – it consists of a camera located on top (for example, it can be mounted on a drone), the field of view of which covers the golf course, including the hole, and algorithms that calculate the current the trajectory of the ball and compare it with the optimal trajectory of movement to the hole. If the ball moves in the wrong direction, the system sends him commands to turn and again analyzes the trajectory.
Note that the ball and tracking system created by Japanese engineers are not serial devices, but a project through which Nissan advertises its adaptive cruise control system ProPILOT. It is similar to the Autopilot system in Tesla cars, but differs from it, among other things, in that the driver can not keep his hands on the steering wheel, although he is still obliged to monitor the road. This is due to the fact that in Tesla the driver’s attention is monitored by measuring the hand force applied to the steering wheel, while at Nissan it is measured directly using the camera. In addition, unlike Autopilot, ProPILOT can only be activated on those highways for which developers previously prepared a three-dimensional map of the area.
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