DevBot might become its own entertainment spectacle
As with any new car, there was a development mule used to test the hardware and software. That’s called ‘DevBot’. It took six months to build the first one, using a modified tub from Ginetta.
The motors, inverters and powertrain are exactly the same as Robocar, but with a slightly de-rated battery. Oh, and there’s space for a driver in there, too. “That’s what makes it really interesting as a platform,” Bryn says. “You can manually drive and build up a map of the environment. You set lap times, and then try to beat that with the AI.”
Eventually, this tech could be used to assist or even augment the human driver, allowing the AI “to make an amateur driver perform at a much higher level”. We’ve come full Matrix here, people.
On top of that however, Bryn envisions a bigger role for the hardy little development mule. “There’s real entertainment and development value in DevBot. It’s now getting a refresh, so a lot of the things it did as a mule, it’ll now become its own product.
“Think about DevBot like you would Formula 2, with Robocar being Formula 1,” he says.
It’s quick, too. Bryn reckons it’ll do a sub-three second time from 0-60mph. “It’s got a ridiculous amount of torque,” he said.
Daniel agrees on the little mule’s promotion. “I’m very fascinated with putting a human aspect into it. I really like the idea of these simple formats of a human setting a lap time and the autonomous mode tries to beat it. Or you work together in a team mode.
“We’re working hard to be entertaining.”