Tokyo, Japan, November 5, 2013 – NSK Ltd. (NSK; Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan; President and CEO: Norio Otsuka) today announced that it has developed a guide robot with navigation and automatic obstacle avoidance that achieves improved convenience and safety through new functions. NSK will exhibit this product at Tokyo Big Sight (located in the Koto Ward of Tokyo) from Wednesday, November 6 to Saturday, November 9 at iREX® 2013 (International Robot Exhibition).
NSK had previously developed a wheeled robot that could detect the desired direction based on grip input as well as automatically avoid obstacles along the corresponding path.
This time, NSK has developed a robot with new functions that enable the user to enter the desired destination and receive voice guidance from the robot to that destination. The robot not only detects obstacles in its path, but can now also detect higher-positioned obstacles in the line of sight of the operator.
This technology can be applied in place of guide and service dogs, for improving wheelchair functionality and mobility assistance devices for the elderly and so forth. NSK is working toward future applications in which autonomous robots will assist mobility in barrier-free environments featuring flat and inclined pathways of hospitals, office buildings and commercial establishments.
NSK has been proactively using exhibitions and other venues to test this product with as many people as possible to understand the diverse needs of the marketplace and to verify on-the-spot functionality for safety.