Panasonic self-driving electric wheelchair

All Nippon Airways (ANA) Japan and Panasonic Corporation will work together to test self-driving electric wheelchairs, as part of a far-reaching plan to increase mobility and accessibility options at Tokyo Narita International Airport.

Incorporating robotic elements, these wheelchairs will be capable to safely navigate through the airport independently, making them an ideal mobility solution for passengers connecting flights.

Photo: Autonomous tracking robotic mobility

The robots are equipped with an automatic braking system that enables them to slow down or stop completely when an obstacle is detected, as well as an autonomous tracking function that ensures that the robots at the rear follow the lead robot.

If a person walks in between the robots in motion, the rear robot will automatically make a temporarily stop as its sensor detects the person, and will only move again once it recognizes the way is cleared. Looking ahead, the goal is to develop a completely unmanned mobility service for a new way of living using completely autonomous robotic mobility devices.