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Company watchdog

Marcel Pinheiro The AutoDrive has eight hours of autonomy and travels specific routesMarcel Pinheiro

A small autonomous electric vehicle equipped with five cameras and several sensors has been designed by Cybox, a company hosted by the Unicamp Technology Business Incubator (Incamp) at the University of Campinas (Unicamp). The vehicle, called AutoDrive, is 75 centimeters (cm) long, 60 cm wide and 80 cm high. It can be either preprogrammed to travel specific routes, or remote-controlled by a security officer. “We worked to integrate market-available cameras, GPS sensors and gyroscopes with the software we developed, which sends the images directly to computers,” says electrical engineer Marcel Pinheiro, who is a partner in Cybox. The AutoDrive has four-wheel traction and sensors that enable it to avoid obstacles. The lithium batteries that power the vehicle provide eight hours of autonomy. “It can be recharged during the day and operate at night, especially when making an initial approach in situations when a security guard would be at risk, such as in the case of unidentified persons, machinery accidents or the onset of a fire.” Cybox obtained funding from FAPESP’s Innovative Research in Small Businesses Program (PIPE). The AutoDrive will be rented, rather than sold, to businesses. “We do the AutoDrive’s hardware maintenance and software management at the company that rents the vehicle,” Pinheiro says.