Sunday, March 12, 2006

Hitachi Hides 'New' Security Robot But Wheels May Reveal the Secret, Says MobileRobots Inc





Is There a 4-Year-Old MobileRobots DX under That Bubble?

AMHERST, N.H., March 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Hitachi, according to a March 8,
2006 AP wire release, is developing a security robot that can map its
surroundings and look for suspicious changes in the landscape. However, the
Hitachi robot is suspiciously similar to a MobileRobots Inc's Pioneer-DX with
laser-mapping and navigation -- available commercially for nearly four years!
The AP release contains no photos, but photos of the Hitachi robot were
printed in Kyodo News on the Web in Japan. These photos show a large bubble
covering the robotic base. The front of the Hitachi bubble has a horizontal
slit for range-finding readings, just as MobileRobots' navigation system
requires. (http://home.kyodo.co.jp/modules/fstPhotos/index.php?photoid=11597).
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060309/FLTH016 )
Says Dr. William Kennedy, co-founder of MobileRobots, "The wheel rims are
the giveaway. The Pioneer DX systems sold a few years ago had unique gold
wheel rims custom-manufactured for our company, which can be seen quite
clearly in the photo. We have no problem with customers using our robots to
prototype; that's what they're for. But it would be misleading to portray
robot technologies we've sold commercially for four years as something new and
revolutionary."
MobileRobots Pioneer robots are sold in Japan by Revast Technologies of
Tokyo. Revast has sold Pioneer DX robots to Hitachi. MobileRobots has
attempted to contact Hitachi concerning the release, but has not yet received
an answer.
MobileRobots Inc sells a larger self-charging robot, called PatrolBot(TM),
that performs security tasks, monitors building conditions and makes
deliveries in offices, laboratories and clean-rooms. MobileRobots
MapperBot(TM) is used to create electronic floor plans of buildings in
minutes. MobileRobots also provide the autonomous "robot brain" system called
ARCSinside(TM) that is used inside larger third-party Automated Guided
Vehicles to move goods in factories. Unlike other systems, ARCSinside robots
do not need colored stripes, wires in the floor or triangulation beacons
installed around the workspace.

About MobileRobots Inc
MobileRobots Inc, formerly ActivMedia Robotics, LLC, is a global leader in
design and manufacture of intelligent mobile robots, sensing and controls.
Established in 1995, the company has sold thousands of robots to organizations
including Intel, Amgen, Carnegie Mellon, John Deere, Microsoft, NASA, US Army
and the US Navy. To learn more, visit http://www.MobileRobots.com .
MobileRobots R&D, production and business offices are in Amherst, NH.

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