This robot is for those who have gotten tired of making makeshift fields using chalk and water bottles

Nissan’s role as an official sponsor of the 2018 UEFA Champions League afforded it the opportunity to showcase its new technologies. It did just that at the Champions League Final in Kiev over the weekend when it introduced Pitch-R, a small autonomous robot that’s capable of drawing an entire football field, or pitch, as our friends in Europe call them. The technology that allows Pitch-R to perform the way it does is heavily inspired by the Nissan’s ProPILOT driver assistance technology.

Pitch-R looks like a futuristic baby stroller, but its functions are far more advanced than transporting little tykes. According to Nissan, it’s capable of creating a soccer field wherever there’s space for one. The technical intricacies of how Pitch-R can accomplish this task is unclear, but the robot’s specs — a four-camera vision system and GPS location tracking and collision avoidance systems — give us an idea of what it’s capable of and, more importantly, how it directly relates to Nissan’s own pursuit of driver assistance technologies under its ProPILOT technology.

In a nutshell, Pitch-R carries eco-friendly dissolvable pain, allowing it to draw white lines on grass, tarmac, or gravel, regardless of how uneven those surfaces are. The robot utilizes the technology it has at its disposal to fulfill its purpose and function, which involves drawing an entire soccer field in just under 20 minutes.

To be clear, Pitch-R wasn’t developed specifically for use in the auto industry. It’s hard to imagine Nissan integrating football field-making capabilities on any of its existing or future models. But the technology isn’t so much a practical solution for those looking to create makeshift football fields as it as a showcase of what Nissan’s ProPilot driver assistance technology is capable of. The GPS location tracking and collision avoidance systems that Pitch-R has at its disposal are features that have real-world applications for Nissan models. It functions trace its roots to Nissan’s ProPILOT technology, which is already available on the all-electric LEAF and the Qashqai crossover.

Pitch-R may look nondescript, but its abilities serve as good indications of the technologies that Nissan is developing to include in its future models.


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