August 1, 2008

Toyota Unveils Personal Transport Aid Robot

Nagoya, Aug. 1 (Jiji Press)--Toyota Motor Corp. said Friday it has developed a motorized stand-up-and-ride device under its "Partner Robot" initiative.

The next-generation transport tool, called the Winglet, could enable people to scoot about at large-scale malls and airports and also increase mobility for those who have difficulties walking long distances, Toyota officials said.

Toyota, based in Aichi Prefecture, is scheduled to conduct feasibility tests of the electric two-wheeler at three places in the central Japan prefecture, including Central Japan International Airport near Nagoya.

The auto giant created three Winglet models to meet users' needs. All the models can be controlled by riders shifting their body weight.

The officials said the vehicles can be used even in tight spaces and crowded environments, as they measure only 46 centimeters in width. They travel at up to 6 kilometers per hour, with a range of 5 to 10 kilometers after a battery charge of one hour.

Toyota hopes to commercialize in the early 2010s the Winglet and other Partner Robots to assist people in such areas as nursing care and transportation.END

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