You know those scenes in futuristic movies with people flying around in small, robot-like cars? Well they haven’t gotten down the flying part yet, but tech conglomerate Hitachi has unveiled its new single passenger robot car called Robot for Personal Intelligent Transport System or Ropits.
This tiny car can bring one passenger from point A to B without even lifting a finger. Developed to assist those who have difficulty walking, Ropits can pick-up and drop off its passenger autonomously. It has GPS for easy navigation and laser distance sensors to determine obstacles and a gyro sensor for those uneven roads. It is also small enough that it can maneuver its way through pedestrian spaces without the walking “civilians” getting mad or hurt. The passenger has to indicate on the touch-screen map their desired destination and Ropits will do the rest. The system is also designed that anyone who needs to use the robot car can hail a Ropits from computer-networked stops around the city. If you’re worried about getting dizzy as it zigzags its way around the city, it has “active suspension” which controls each wheel individually to keep the passenger comfortably upright.
In a somewhat similar coincidence, Jeremy Clarkson from the popular British reality show Top Gear, showed off his personally-designed robotic car in a recent episode. He said that the four-wheel vehicle is the smallest in the world and the Brit’s big frame really looked cramp in that miniscule vehicle. He said he was “staggered” that none of the big automotive companies has come up with this idea yet. Well Mr Clarkson, apparently Hitachi is way ahead of you on that front.