Turn on your smartphone or tablet, pick a destination on the map and ROPITS self-driving vehicle will do the rest! Hitachi’s new single-seat transport robot was designed to maneuver its way through city streets and sidewalks to pick you up and get you to your desired location. Equipped with GPS and 2D and 3D laser distance sensors, ROPITS can detect obstacles, bumps, and pedestrians and adjust its speed—up to 3.7mph—to arrive safely at any given destination.
ROPITS weights 450 pounds and runs on a lithium ion battery. As it rolls along at a top speed of 3.7 mph, it can reach its destination with a margin of error of less than three feet. The company uses digital map data from Japan’s Geographical Survey Institute and Real Time Kinematic GPS to generate accurate altitude information and enable ROPITS to build a three-dimensional map. The vehicle uses special on-board sensors to pinpoint its current location and stay in upright position on uneven surfaces. If needed, passengers can assume control over the vehicle by using a joystick located in the cockpit. The tiny robot, designed with the elderly and disabled in mind, can also be used indoors for getting in and out of elevators.
The technology will be further tested in Tsukuba, Japan, one of the world’s largest cities dedicated to the implementation and development of high-tech scientific discoveries.