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Japan's ZMP to sell golf cart-size robot car

ZMP's RoboCar gets supersized into RoboCar G, a one-seater vehicle designed for research purposes. The car can drive itself or be driven over short distances.

Tokyo robotics start-up ZMP is following up its RoboCar mini robot car platform with a one-seater robotic electric minicar that's about the size of a golf cart.

Developed in collaboration with Gunma University and industry partners, the RoboCar G will be sold as a research platform for next-generation cars, as well as a multipurpose vehicle for use at hospitals and other pubic facilities.

The minicar format was chosen from a standpoint of next-generation battery cost performance as well as the goal of getting robot cars on public roads at an early date.

The vehicle can be controlled wirelessly by computer and equipped with sensors including stereo cameras, laser rangefinders, radar and sonar, as well as an inertial measurement unit.

Its autonomous functions are unclear but presumably it will have similar track and obstacle detection abilities as the toy-size RoboCar.

Each RoboCar will be built to order, so customers will specify the type and number of sensor required. The car is expected to start shipping in November. No word yet on base price.

Powered by a lithium-ion battery, the 211-pound vehicle runs on a brushless DC electric motor and has a top speed of 37 mph. It won't be competing in a Darpa Grand Challenge anytime soon, but the RoboCar G could make a decent research platform for autonomous cars.

(Via Akihabara News)