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Team of Robots Designed to Move Suspect Vehicles

These recovery robots slide under a car and gently glide it away. (Photo credit: AVERT.)
These recovery robots slide under a car and gently glide it away. (Photo credit: AVERT.)

European researchers have demonstrated a prototype robotic system that can move a car from a parked position. The system, called the Autonomous Vehicle Emergency Recovery Tool (AVERT), is designed to remove vehicles that are blocking entry or positioned suspiciously close to vulnerable positions such as tunnels, low bridges, or critical infrastructure. If there’s concerns a vehicle might have a bomb inside, AVERT will take care of the situation. According to the AVERT Website, “vehicles can be removed from confined spaces with delicate handling, swiftly, and in any direction to a safer disposal point to reduce or eliminate collateral damage to infrastructure and personnel.”

The autonomous system includes one large robot that carries out another, low-profile bot. When deployed, this thin robot can easily slide under a car. It then positions itself around the car tires and pushes them off the ground slightly, before slowly rolling the car away.

With the demonstration a success and plans to present their work at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in May, the researchers say AVERT could be ready for production as early as 2016.

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