The City of Tsukuba in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan and Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) are to begin public sidewalk demonstration trials tomorrow of the “Winglet”, a TMC-developed personal transport assistance robot ridden in a standing position. The trials, to be conducted in the Tsukuba Mobility Robot Experimental Zone, are the first for the Winglet on a public thoroughfare.
The trials, scheduled to run until the end of March 2016, are aimed to verify the safety, functionality and convenience of the Winglet so it can be used on public sidewalks in the future.
This year, emphasis will be placed on verifying safety, and National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) personnel and Tsukuba municipal employees will assess operational safety and compatibility with pedestrians and other traffic by using the Winglet on sidewalks to commute to and from work and when going out during working hours.
From 2014 onward, assessment will focus on aspects of functionality and convenience, including prospective demand and contribution to supporting public mobility, invigorating local communities and improving the environment.