Elevator operating robot janitor goes on sale in Japan

Joseph L. Flatley
J. Flatley|12.02.09

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Elevator operating robot janitor goes on sale in Japan
In one year alone we've seen robots shaking things up in such far-flung fields as fashion and interpretive dance. That said, our concerns are generally more prosaic -- that's why we're most excited by the industrial strength autonomous sweepers developed by the likes of Fuji Heavy Industries, Sumitomo, and Subaru. Like last year's model, their latest sweeps the floor, picks up the trash, is able to operate modded elevators, and comes equipped with laser sensors for avoiding obstacles and may even be outfitted with a camera. In addition, this new guy has slimmed down to about half the size (better for slipping into tight corners) and sports a twenty-four volt battery that gets about 2.5 hours per charge. The best news, however, is that it's finally for sale! It should hit the streets of Japan by the end of next year for a price somewhere in the $35,000 to $46,000 range. We'll take two. [Warning: PDF source link]
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