BMW is building autonomous robots with the i3’s battery

By: Vijay Pattni

Anyone else getting a ‘Cyberdyne Systems’ sort of vibe? Just us?

It can’t be reasoned with. It can’t be bargained with. It doesn’t feel pity or remorse or fear, and it absolutely will not stop… until it has safely delivered up to one ton’s worth of palleted goods safely to its destination on the factory floor.
 
Heck, it’s even got a name that emanates a shiny, bright future. Remember this day, friends. For it is the day the BMW Group announced a new wholly owned subsidiary called… IDEALworks. Its mission? To become a supplier of autonomous robots.
 
Why are we telling you about autonomous logistics robots on a car website? Because a) this year hasn’t afforded much opportunity to shoehorn in mediocre The Terminator jokes and so we couldn’t resist, and b) because these BMW robots use the battery from the game-changing little i3 electric car.
 
Indeed, BMW built its first autobot back in 2015 – the Smart Transport Robot – and is using this new venture to branch out of the automotive world. Said Smart Transport Robot is able to autonomously transport goods up to one ton to their precise destination, calculating the best route and moving “freely” around the space on the factory floor.
 
The algorithm it uses doesn’t require the installation of navigation transmitters within buildings, and thus these autobots can be “set up quickly in a new environment”. Which doesn’t sound mildly terrifying in the slightest. Not one bit.
 
The STRs have been using i3 batteries since 2015, able to power the robots over an entire shift’s worth of labor. The next-gen T-800s – sorry, STRs – are scheduled to be rolled out at the end of the year, and we have Questions. Is the software able to be tweaked so these robots could start drag-racing each other between shifts? Can you fit cute little BMW grilles on the front? (There’s a better, less polite grille joke in there, but we’ll leave that to you.)
 
“Our perspective is changing now,” explains IDEALworks CTO Jimmy Nassif. “We are becoming a provider of logistics robotics beyond the automotive industry. We are preparing some innovations for the coming months.”
 
We can only hope said innovations do not involve a microprocessor-controlled hyperalloy combat chassis that’s very tough…
 

Published by howard rudzki

Howard Rudzki HOWARD RUDZKI Howard Rudzki has turned his passion for bike riding, dogs and education into vehicles to help for good. He started out bike riding when he was 20 for the pleasure and enjoyment that a good ride provides and has been a committed cyclist ever since. Rudzki rides every week either by himself or as part of group and annually participates in fundraising rides. For the last three years, he has ridden in America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride, raising money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, whose mission is to find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma and improve the quality of lives for their patients and families.When he is not riding, Rudzki spends his time going to animal shelters across the L.A. Basin rescuing older dogs. He is committed to saving displaced, unwanted canines and rehabilitating them with proper medical and nutritional care so they can thrive in safe and caring homes where they will be a loved family member.In addition to helping animals, Rudzki believes he has an obligation to give back to underprivileged communities so that all children are able to receive a good education. Over the years, he has donated computers, printers and software to schools to help develop the future leaders of our city.