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A Fly-Eye Inspired Speed Sensor

First sensor to directly measure speed uses algorithms from fruit-fly steering circuits

4 min read
A Fly-Eye Inspired Speed Sensor
Photo: iStockphoto

25 August—Right now, there is no way for consumer devices to directly measure speed. But a new Swiss start-up could change that with the first portable sensor that can measure speed instantaneously and exactly.

Lugano-based Vissee has developed a sensor that takes a fundamentally new approach to measuring speed. Vissee’s speed sensor, dubbed "Third Eye," is a neuromorphic processor modeled on the motion detection system of the fruit fly. Only a year into the company’s existence, manufacturers of a wide range of products are eager to get their hands on its prototypes: Next March, Vissee will announce a partnership with a major semiconductor manufacturer; by the end of 2011, the sensor will be in sports equipment; in 2012, the sensor will be integrated into traffic and surveillance micro-aerial vehicles made by Zurich-based Skybotix, according to its CEO, Samir Bouabdallah; and farther in the future, the sensor may be used by a major automotive manufacturer.

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Chinese Joint Venture Will Begin Mass-Producing an Autonomous Electric Car

With the Robo-01, Baidu and Chinese carmaker Geely aim for a fully self-driving car

4 min read
A black car sits against a white backdrop decorated with Chinese writing. The car’s doors are open, like a butterfly’s wings. Two charging stations are on the car’s left; two men stand on the right.

The Robo-01 autonomous electric car shows off its butterfly doors at a reveal to the media in Beijing, in June 2022.

Tingshu Wang/Reuters/Alamy

In October, a startup called Jidu Automotive, backed by Chinese AI giant Baidu and Chinese carmaker Geely, officially released an autonomous electric car, the Robo-01 Lunar Edition. In 2023, the car will go on sale.

At roughly US $55,000, the Robo-01 Lunar Edition is a limited edition, cobranded with China’s Lunar Exploration Project. It has two lidars, a 5-millimeter-wave radars, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and 12 high-definition cameras. It is the first vehicle to offer on-board, AI-assisted voice recognition, with voice response speeds within 700 milliseconds, thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8295 chip.

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