One-seater robot picks up passengers, drives itself

March 13, 2013

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

Hitachi Ltd. has developed a single-seater transportation robot for elderly and disabled people that not only drives itself but also comes when called.

Using a tablet computer, users can call the ROPITS to come pick them up wherever they are. The robot then automatically calculates a route to the designated destination.

It uses a camera and four sensors--one in front and three in back--to monitor road conditions and pedestrians, allowing it to avoid obstacles and stop automatically.

At 160 centimeters tall and 70 centimeters wide, the electrically powered ROPITS is designed for short-distance transportation and runs at 6 kph.

The robot was shown to the media on March 12 in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture.

Hitachi has conducted verification tests, including runs on sidewalks, in Tsukuba, which is designated as a special zone for testing mobility robots.

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
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Hitachi Ltd.'s new single-seater transportation robot ROPITS in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, on March 12 (Nobuhiro Shirai)

Hitachi Ltd.'s new single-seater transportation robot ROPITS in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, on March 12 (Nobuhiro Shirai)

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  • Hitachi Ltd.'s new single-seater transportation robot ROPITS in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, on March 12 (Nobuhiro Shirai)

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