Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Segway Platforms For Future Domestic Robots

Segway is known worldwide from its introduction of the Personal Transporter on December 2001, but many do not know that they also produce robotic platforms. Segway calls these units Robotic Mobility Platform (RMP), their Segway Personal Transporter engineering and performance were used to create these platforms. The Segway RMP are able to carry heavy payloads in tight spaces and are able to move in many types of terrain. Similar materials were used to create the platforms that will endure many harsh conditions which make them an ideal robotic platform to use for service applications. All of the RMP are battery powered which only emit a harmonic hum when they run. There are three main models to choose from: RMP 50/100 OMNI, RMP 50/100/200 and RMP 400.

RMP 50/100 OMNI - Uses unique 'mecanum' wheels which allows it to move sideways without turning. Designed for flat surfaces and can carry a maxium payload of 400 lbs. Cost range US$21,000 - 42,000.

RMP 50/100/200 - Stable platform for indoor use that provides maneuverability and a tight turning radius. Can carry a maxium payload of 140 lbs. Cost range US$7,500 - 21,000.

RMP 400 - Most powerful robotic platform from Segway. Designed to move accross challenging terrain and can carry a maxium payload of 400 lbs. Cost US$32,000.

Though, not the cheapest platform available (some people find Roomba or others to be most economical), Segway do provide platforms for more industrial or research applications for robotics. Who knows? One day someone could possibly come up with a semi-humanoid robot that can move around on a RMP 100 or 200 platform around the house or office!

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