Honda’s latest robot is an autonomous work vehicle (AWV) designed to perform all the boring and repetitive tasks at airports. It also aims to demonstrate that autonomous vehicles can have other purposes that don’t involve congesting city streets or obstructing emergency vehicles.
The company is shipping its first prototype to Toronto’s Pearson Airport as part of a demonstration of how artificial intelligence, robotics and autonomous vehicle technology can help address many of the challenges facing airports, including labor shortages. work, safety and emissions. Honda first introduced the work vehicle as a concept at CES in 2018 and it’s now being put into use.
The company sends its first prototype to Toronto Pearson Airport
Some of the tasks the AWV performs include: driving around an airport perimeter fence looking for security gaps; hauling and transporting cargo on the track; and tow luggage carts. The vehicle can also create maps for future planning and detect obstacles. It is designed to be driven on or off-road and is fully electric, meaning it produces no tailpipe emissions.
At this time, the AWV is only used for inspection of the Toronto Airport perimeter fence. But in the future, Honda says it can easily be reused for hauling cargo, mowing and grooming, or removing debris. The AWV uses radar and lidar for obstacle detection, as well as GPS for location.
Honda uses equipment and technology from many other companies, including wireless technology from Cisco and Genwave, operating systems from Illuminex AI, and AIROps cloud-based software from Eagle Aerospace.
The company has said that it sees the future of robotics as being based on human interaction, which explains why it is focusing on a variety of use cases. At CES 2018, Honda introduced a quartet of new robot conceptsincluding a companion robot, an autonomous all-terrain vehicle (and the precursor to the AWV), and a couple of “mobility” concepts for moving people and things.