What do you get when you cross a car navigation system with a wacky mini robot? You get Carnaby [JP], a very special piece of hardware developed by Pioneer and robot venture iXs. The in-car robot may look weird, but it actually serves a good purpose: it makes car navigation systems more accessible for the elderly and those with hearing disabilities.
The way Carnaby works is pretty simple. As it basically is supposed to be a visual help, the insectoid will move up its left arm when it’s time to turn left and its right arm before you’re supposed to turn right. The closer you come, the faster it flaps its wings (and the robot’s eyes then start glowing, too).
Pioneer is currently thinking about how and when to commercialize the robot, but I am asking myself if you should drive a car if you have difficulties following the instructions given by regular navigation systems in the first place.
Here are two short videos showing Carnaby in action: