Nissan puts Around View Monitor on ocean-exploring robots [w/video]

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Capable as it may be, we wouldn't advise driving your crossover to the bottom of the ocean. Nissan, however, is doing the next best thing by putting its Around View Monitor on seabed-crawling robots.

The partnership brings Nissan together with the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) and Topy Industries, a leading manufacturer of robotic crawlers. Nissan supplies the Around View Monitor it usually puts in its crossovers and SUVs, which Topy installs on its Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and JAMSTEC sends to the ocean floor. The project even enjoys support from the Japanese cabinet through its Strategy Innovation Promotion program that aims to bring private-sector innovation to government projects.

With Nissan's 360-degree camera technology, JAMSTEC and Topy hope to "uncover the mysteries of the oceans," and seem to be going about it a smarter way than submerging a landlubber like the Juke or Rogue to car-crushing depths.

Just what they'll uncover remains to be seen, but we're looking forward to finding out, and applaud the initiative. Of course, Nissan isn't the first automaker to deploy its technologies in robots to explore undiscovered worlds: Toyota recently lent its voice-recognition system to the Kirobo project that put a pint-sized robot in orbit to converse with the astronauts in the International Space Station.

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- Nissan's Around View Monitor (AVM) technology will help remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) search for natural resources in the Earth's oceans
- Nissan's AVM is building block of company's autonomous drive technology
- Featured across Nissan's crossover range including best-selling new Juke, Qashqai and X-Trail

Nissan is providing its unique Around View Monitor (AVM) technology to the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) and Topy Industries, Ltd., through a joint development project that may help uncover the mysteries of the oceans.

The joint development contract with JAMSTEC and Topy, one of the top manufacturers of robot crawlers in Japan, will enhance the government agency's ability to search deep underwater for natural resources using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). Nissan's AVM technology will help ROV operators avoid obstacles and navigate the ocean seafloor more easily.

The project exemplifies how AVM know-how is being put to practical use in complex operating environments and is among the Japanese Cabinet office's Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (SIP), which aims to realise innovation through the promotion of research & development activities across government ministries.

AVM is one of the base technologies for Nissan's autonomous drive vehicles, which the company aims to bring to market by 2020. The innovative safety system can be found on Nissan's entire crossover range including the new Juke, Qashqai and X-Trail.

First commercialised in 2007, AVM provides a virtual 360-degree overview of a car from a bird's-eye view as pictured from above. The technology helps drivers visually confirm the vehicle's position relative to parking spaces and adjacent objects and manoeuvre into parking spots more easily. Nissan added Moving Object Detection (MOD) technology to AVM in 2011 and continues to develop other associated safety technologies.

Under the Japanese government's SIP initiative, JAMSTEC, Japan's agency that develops next-generation technologies to explore for resources deep under the sea, and Topy Industries, one of the top manufacturers of robot crawlers in Japan, have teamed up to develop a highly-efficient operating system for undersea searches using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). The ROVs being tested by JAMSTEC and Topy include a version of Nissan AVM which features three-dimensional picture processing capability.

The AVM 3D function is combined with the ROV's camera to improve measurement of distances on the ocean floor. This provides operators, controlling the ROVs aboard mother ships at sea, an overhead real-time bird's-eye view of the remote vehicle and its immediate surroundings. The goal is to improve the efficiency of undersea searches by avoiding obstacles on the seabed with better real-time situational awareness.

Nissan continues to develop technologies and know-how as part of its main business and for use in a variety of fields. Revenue generated by its intangible assets is re-invested in new technology development, further contributing to Nissan's technological competence.

Use of AVM technology in undersea environments is an extension of the autonomous drive technology that Nissan is developing to enhance the driving experience, minimise traffic accidents and injuries, and provide more convenient, comfortable mobility options together with peace of mind.

For further information about this story, please see the video link below.

For more information about Nissan's Around View Monitor, go to:

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