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Autonomous mobile chair expanding in Japan, tested overseas

A passenger strolls in Tokyo Haneda airport on August 10, using the Whill Autonomous Mobile Chair (ANJ)
A passenger strolls in Tokyo Haneda airport on August 10, using the Whill Autonomous Mobile Chair (ANJ)
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11 Aug 2021 10:08:30 GMT9
11 Aug 2021 10:08:30 GMT9

Khaldon Azhari

TOKYO: Japanese company Whill is expanding its practical autonomous personal mobility service at airports in Japan and made tests overseas.

Whill has produced a mobile chair that can transport people autonomously in different situations. Last month, the company installed three of its autonomous mobile chairs at Haneda Airport in Tokyo.

Since then, the chairs have been installed and tests were done overseas at a number of airports, including Abu Dhabi International Airport, John F. Kennedy Airport in New York and Dallas-Fort Worth Airport in Texas. The company wants to install the devices at the top 50 airports in the world.

It is used by passengers and even air crew who have difficulty walking the long distances in some airports.

Passengers can use the mobile chair system without assistance. The chair will take them to where they want to go, such as a departure gate, and return to its station automatically.

Japan Airlines introduced the robot chairs last month as part of its “smart airport” initiative also featuring automated baggage drop and security screening systems.

Yokohama-based Whill also sees the mobile chairs serving customers in hospital and other settings such as supermarkets.

According to online shopping sites, the chairs is priced at ¥473,000 (about $4,300) for consumers.

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