Click to viewRobot cars are making huge leaps forward, judging from the fact that driverless vehicles are conquering two very different types of terrain. A driverless car will ferry visitors through the volcanic wasteland of Vulcania, and a robot snowmobile will race around the Antarctic, surveying regions humans can't easily reach. Is this the beginning of a new class of adventure bots on wheels? Click through to find out. Vulcania sounds like the home of a masked supervillain at the bottom of a slumbering mountain powderkeg - and it may well be - but it's also Europe's volcano theme park, in France. (With a supervillain no doubt lurking under the surface.) And it just ordered three of RoboSoft's new prototype driverless cars with the sinister name of VulcanBuls to take tourists around the volcano, so no human driver will be in harm's way when the volcano opens up and lizard soldiers march out with murder on their tiny minds. The VulcanBuls navigate via GPS and can take you on a preset course around the deadly, deadly extinct volcano. Here's a demo video:
Meanwhile, the "SnoMote" robot snowmobiles are designed to zoom around the Antarctic tundra searching for melting ice levels in areas where the frozen matter may have reached critical levels that are dangerous for the scientists. According to ElectricPig:
Able to traverse inhospitable terrain autonomously using sensors and cameras to navigate the environment these clever droids can also collaborate on the work thats to be done and cover much more ground than is normally usual by humans on the bigger machines.
The scientists assign an area for the "SnoMotes" to cover, and then they return to base with the data when they're done. They're the work of Georgia Tech professor Ayanna Howard, pictured with her creation. [Robosoft and ElectricPig via Robots.net]