Japanese robotics company unveils autonomous mini vehicle


Tokyo-based robotics venture ZMP has developed a mini vehicle that is about one-tenth the size of a real car and able to drive autonomously. Equipped with a CCD camera and an infrared laser system, the robo-car is able to detect obstacles and calculate their distance.

Powered by a nickel metal hydride battery, it can drive up to one hour continuously, avoiding any obstacle in its path. Weighing about 3kg, the cars are sized at 429x195x212mm.

Users can control their robo-cars via a remote-control. The Linux-supported vehicles can communicate with each other, too.


ZMP will start selling therobots as early as this month with prices ranging from about $6,000 to $13,000 (for a stylized body). The company hopes to sell 200 units in the first year and is open for orders from abroad.

Via Robot Watch [JP]