Hitachi’s ROPITS single-seater assisted transport vehicle is operated by drawing in or pre-selecting a destination on a tablet map app (via Hitachi & Mondzukichannel)


Do you work in a busy city and find yourself having a hard time navigating from place to place? Perhaps you require assisted transport to get to your destination. On the other hand, maybe you just want to sit back and relax as a robot transport vehicle takes you where you need to go. Either way, Hitachi has developed a new intelligent mode of transportation that will come to you when it’s needed and drive itself toward a pre-designated location controlled via a tablet computer.


The Hitachi ROPITS (Robot for Personal Intelligent Transport System) is a one-seater transportation robot that automatically calculates the best route to maneuver itself to the “driver’s” destination. The tablet app used to choose a destination makes use of data from Japan’s Geological Survey Institute and Real Time Kinematic GPS to create a highly accurate and detailed map. Equipped with a stereo camera, four 3D laser range finders, and a Differential GPS, the ROPITS is able to quickly estimate its current location while managing to avoid and maneuver around obstacles that lay in its path. Measuring a mere 70 cm wide and 160 cm tall, the electrically powered vehicle will not have too many difficulties finding a place to park when not in use.


The vehicle was designed with elderly and disabled people in mind who might consider ditching their archaic, manually-operated assisted transport for Hitachi’s new wave of intelligent, self-propelled vehicles. With a travelling speed of 3.7MPH, Hitachi’s new transport system will not be much of a concern to pedestrians that may stop to gawk at its auto-piloting glory.


Hitachi’s ROPITS system is still in its development phase as the company only just announced its progress on the project this past week. Verification tests have already been conducted in Japan’s Tsukuba region, an area that is specifically designated for testing mobility robots. Hitachi will be presenting their project at Japan’s coming Robotics and Mechatronics conference in May. Check out the video below to see a test-run of the ROPITS for yourself.




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