Panasonic testing self-driving wheelchairs in airport

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Air travelers with disabilities will have a much easier time navigating one of Japan's main airports, thanks to new smart wheel chairs. Haneda Airport outside Tokyo is beginning tests of the WHILL NEXT, an app-controlled self-driving wheel chair that can take users around the airport and even bring their luggage in a separate wireless vehicle behind them. It is hoped the system will be in place, alongside new smart billboards and navigation apps, in time for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Designed specifically for navigating crowded areas, the smart wheel chair also has several other features that make it perfect for airports, such as the ability to link to sensor-equipped luggage carts that automatically follow the wheelchair without getting lost. The WHILL NEXT uses sensors and image recognition to detect obstacles and navigate the airport.


Panasonic introduces service robots to Tokyo Airport

Daily Mail - Science & tech

If you're passing through Tokyo Narita Airport, there's a good chance your pre-flight dinner could be cleared up by a robot. Panasonic has started testing its HOSPI service robots at the airport to help combat'labour shortages' in Japan. The firm hopes if the Dalek-style robots are a success in the airport, they could be drafted in to help deal with the influx of tourists for the 2020 Olympics. Panasonic has begun testing service robots at the international airport to help combat'labour shortages' in Japan The robots were originally developed to be used in healthcare, delivering drugs around hospitals. Pre-installed mapping information allows HOSPI to move autonomously.


Self-driving wheelchairs tested at Haneda Airport

The Japan Times

Trials have begun at Haneda Airport in Tokyo on next-generation self-driving electric wheelchairs to help elderly and other people get to boarding gates more easily. Japan Airlines aims to start using self-driving wheelchairs as early as the business year that starts next April. Currently, JAL offers manual wheelchairs at airports across the country. The self-driving wheelchairs JAL aims to introduce are designed to allow users to move without any escort. They automatically return to their home positions after use, making it unnecessary for workers to go and collect them.


Hitachi starts trials of EMIEW3 humanoid robot at Haneda airport

The Japan Times

Hitachi Ltd. started trials of its EMIEW3 humanoid robot at Tokyo's Haneda airport on Friday to aid foreign visitors to Japan. During the trials through December in the airport's domestic Terminal 2, the robot will communicate with passengers in Japanese and English at a designated information center as well as display information. The industrial conglomerate is hoping to enable the 90-centimeter-tall humanoid robot with autonomous capabilities to guide users to destinations starting around December. At a demonstration on Friday morning, a female foreign passenger asked EMIEW3 for directions to a foreign exchange counter. The humanoid robot at the information center called another EMIEW3 robot to take her to the location.


Japan installs rollerskating robots that speak Japanese AND English at Haneda airport

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Visitors arriving to Japan through Tokyo's Haneda airport will soon be greeted by a fleet of tiny humanoid robots. Standing just 90 centimetres tall, the humanoid named'EMIEW3' will guide users to the proper destination at the terminal and has the ability to communicate in both Japanese and English. Hitachi Ltd began its trials with the robots on Friday, and it's hoped that these assistants will be able to perform autonomously as early as December. Visitors arriving to Japan through Tokyo's Haneda airport will soon be greeted by a fleet of tiny humanoid robots. Standing just 90 centimetres tall, the humanoid named'EMIEW3' has the ability to communicate in both Japanese and English Trials will run through December at the airport's domestic Terminal 2, The Japan Times reports.