Is it a Vespa? A BMX bike? A horse? In fact, it’s all of the above and a robot too. Adding to their larger AI robot series, RidRoid, the creators at Future Robotics Technology designed the CanguRo (that’s, ‘kangaroo’ in Italian) in order to bring a sense of companionship to smart robots. Like many AI robots, CanguRo can offer support to users with tasks such as shopping and office work, but integrated software also brings this robot to your location, even if you’re far away, and then turns into a vehicle for you to ride whenever necessary.
The inspiration behind the CanguRo design was taken from a page of history. Humans once depended on horses for both work and transportation. All one had to do was send out a whistle for their horse nearby, and a horse would come trotting their way. Decades later, the Ford Model T made automotive transportation more accessible for everyone and the possibilities for future modes of transportation were reimagined. Today, designers and engineers are concocting concepts for transportation that no longer require the use of human or animal intelligence. Instead, popularity in self-driven cars and AI-led transportation is increasing and the potential behind smart technology is bursting at the seams. The possibilities seem endless.
In order to make the connection between robotic intelligence and human conscience more harmonious, the team at Future Robotics integrated SLAM technology into CanguRo. SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping) technology, allows robots to produce maps of their surroundings and places their position within them through sensors that make navigation and robotic mapping easier to process. I fewer words, SLAM technology positions CanguRo as the “human eye.” When the user is away from CanguRo, SLAM technology supplies intelligence for the vehicle to mobilize, using autopilot functions, then locate and reach your geographic location. All you have to do is call for CanguRo with your smartphone or tablet PC and once it greets you, CanguRo transforms into ride mode and adapts to your physical movements.
When riding CanguRo, bodily sensation technologies help to unite the machine with the human user. Features such as CanguRo’s ‘heartbeat’ signal to users the speed at which they’re moving. Additionally, force feedback is implemented into the steering functions in order to bridge the human’s sense of touch with the movement of the ride. Smart stop functions have also been incorporated into the vehicle to avoid the unlikely event of a collision. CanguRo was created in order to offer a mode of transportation that humans can always depend on, no matter where you are, all you’ve gotta do is call and CanguRo will find you.
Designer: Shunji Yamanaka x fuRo