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Robo-vehicle serves as beast of burden on beach

  • JAPAN NEWS / YOMIURI

    A robot vehicle carrying collected garbage follows students around during a test cruise on a beach in Japan.

KITAKYUSHU, Japan >> The Kyushu Institute of Technology’s Center for Socio-Robotic Synthesis is working to develop a robot vehicle that can help clean up beaches and other areas.

The self-driving all-terrain vehicle follows a person around while the person loads it with garbage.

It is expected to help reduce the burden on those who collect driftwood and other heavy debris.

A representative of the robotics center in Wakamatsu Ward, Kita-kyushu said the center is hoping to present a model of cleaning beaches by utilizing robots in hopes that others could expand use of the technology.

The robot is 4.5 feet long and weighs 264 pounds. It is equipped with a camera and a sensor that recognizes targets, as well as a basket to hold garbage. It automatically follows a person designated as its guide.

In November, the center was approved to develop the robot as a way to solve a garbage problem on the coast.

The organization aims to develop technology to manage robots’ travel motions over uneven terrain.

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