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NASA’s new robot car can drive sideways

The car has four liquid-cooled wheel motors that can run independently.

By: Press Trust of India | Washington |
Updated: April 16, 2015 9:12:09 pm

NASA has developed a new robotic electric car that can drive sideways, park itself and even spin on the spot. The remote-driven Modular Robotic Vehicle (MRV) can gain speeds of up to 64 kph and weighs 990 kilogrammes.

The car has four liquid-cooled wheel motors that can run independently, which lets the vehicle speed up and move in ways that traditional earth-bound vehicles can not.

It can parallel park in a side-slide motion, for example. The compelling aspect of the MRV’s wheel modules is that the vehicle can drive laterally and drift around corners given the super agility factor, ‘Tech Times’ reported.

The MRV is controlled by computer operation and there is no traditional vehicle mechanics between steering, braking or acceleration. Its battery longevity is 100 km on a charge.

Driving the vehicle is supposedly “like driving on ice but having complete control,” NASA said. It’s a “blast,” said International Space Station Flight Controller Justin Ridley.

According to mechanical engineer Mason Markee, the MRV was built to move quickly and easily.

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