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Spirit of Berlin: iPhone-Controlled Car

iPhone-operated car

Spirit of Berlin, an iPhone-controlled car, a project of the Artificial Intelligence Group, directed by Prof. Raul Rojas, at Freie Universitaet Berlin.

iPhone-operated car
iPhone-operated car

The Spirit of Berlin is basically a converted Dodge minivan. Researchers from the Freie Universität Berlin’s Artificial Intelligence Group hacked the van to be semi-autonomous for DARPA’s 2007 Urban Grand Challenge.

Team Berlin was their entry to the 2007 Urban Grand Challenge Competition. They were one of the semifinalists selected by DARPA. The group managed to hack a van to be semi-autonomous. This led to a mobile application development firm called Appirion UG to come out with an iPhone application that can control a ‘real’ Dodge van.

You can see a slideshow of the project over at Life:

Watch the Video:

The Spirit of Berlin allows the controller to remotely operate the steering, brakes, and accelerator while looking “through the windshield” on the phone’s screen. The car can reportedly be manipulated from as far away as the fourth floor of a building.

The Spirit of Berlin can be driven using an iPhone and a WiFi connection. The car is outfitted with a variety of laser sensors, GPS, antennae, and (of course) computers.

The group has been building autonomous robots since 1998. They are the two-time world champion and five times European champion in robotic soccer. Their vehicle is up and ready with drive-by-wire technology.  And its name is: “Spirit of Berlin”. See it driving (WMV)

The Team 2007

Team Leaders: Raúl Rojas, Javier Rojo

Fabian Wiesel, Tinosch Ganjineh, Miao Wang, Ketill Gunnarsson, Mark Simon, Frederik Zilly, Fabian Ruff, Lars Wolter, Neven Santra?, Arash Sarkohi, Benjamin Jankovic, Fritz Ulbrich, David Latotzky, Gretta Hohl, Bastian Hecht, Thomas Wisspeintner(Fraunhofer IAIS), David Dröschel (FH Bonn-Rhein-Sieg), Günther Lange, Frank Havlak (Rice University)

Sources: Life, BoingBoing, Freie Universitaet Berlin

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