Roadbots Revisited


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Tesla is charging ahead not only with its cutting edge electro motor designs taking the efficiency and performance of its cars to new heights. It is also developing chips to run its AI algorithms, as well as continuously improving the quality of AI. I wrote about so called Roadbots and how they will change the way we can manipulate our environment, do maintenance and supply emergency help. The combination of on board AI and the availability of a massive amount of energy (in the tesla battery) seems to create even more possiblities than I imagined at first.

The first general purpose Roadbot, opening a plethora of use cases..

If a Tesla self drives (let’s say the Cybertruck) to a location where some manipulation is needed, you’d be tempted to say an electric pickup truck arrived and that’s it. But a Cybertruck (or for that matter any Tesla) is also a sensor an compute platform. This means that in the near future you could see bipedal robots get out fo the damn truck, for example powerd by compressed air, and controlled by a combination of the on board computer and one they carry themselves. If you say the truck has a compressed air storage tank it keeps at pressure the bipedal bots can go up to the truck and refill their tanks every so often, then leave for some manipulation of whatever is needed.

Tesla’s compute platform. Its geared towards running AI algorithms, which with some tweaking will be exchangable to fit a certani need..

You don’t think we can have pole scaling bots that can detach from the rear of the Cybertruck and get up a pole and fix some cable? And what about drones? They can take off, be observed by the cars cameras and piloted, they can return video footage themselves (where one core of the cars computer runs control and the other switches to some tuned visual recognition algoritm). This way you can have all kinds of functions performed by one car, and you can have humans in the loop as well. Perimeter patrolling? Of course! Search and rescue? Of course!

Cyberdrones controlled, chanrged and assisting a task for a roadbot cybertruck

Some pretty dystopian image come to mind if you image an angry roadbot cybertruck trying to catch some “terrorists” where drones leave the driving car packed with explosives or lasers or spikes and all before you know it they are shooting through the back window etc. You’ve seen the movie. But this will be real pretty soon.

Roadbots can go anywhere, certainly when they are linked to the starlink constellation. One that starts in Holland can basically drive all the way to Egypt to do a task and then come back. They can be used to build solar charging stations where nobody ever goes, and start fighting climate effects or increasing the viability of land where nobody is looking.

It will already be amazing to have full self driving cars. But see what happens if they stop, an android gets out, climbs on your roof to fix a shingle, gets off back into the car and your problem is solved. Same with cleaning the house. Same with painting spots on wood fences. The list can be pretty long if we assume there will be some kind of walking (sub) platform, because that really allows it to get almost anywhere. How about planting trees. Soon enough Aircos and other equipment will be desinged for robot fixing, but also soon enough the robots will know how to fix anything.

Make roadbots part of the new infrastructure bill

This is all a good thing, because we need robot hands to reduce environmental impact of humans, as well as to help fight climate change!

Earlier posts :

A First Application of Roadbots : Potholes?

Bidirectional Charging, Grid Stalling and Roadbots

Roadbots