ANA HOLDINGS to partner with Agility Robotics to enhance Avatar hardware and increase connectivity

*Partnership is first step in development of a new outdoor-capable Avatar robot
* New model will bring increased mobility and physical capabilities to enable a wide range of new Avatar services

ANA HOLDINGS (hereinafter “ANA HD“) signed a memorandum of understanding with Agility Robotics Opens in a new window, a startup spin off of Oregon State University. The two companies will be working together to investigate the feasibility of leveraging Agility Robotics’ robot platform to develop a new line of Avatars that is more rugged, resilient and suitable for outdoor use. A concept robot will be on display at CEATEC 2019 Opens in a new window, and ANA HD aims to conduct outdoor field trials starting in 2020, with the target of releasing a service based on the product in 2021.

Combining the leadership, strategy, connectivity and software innovation of ANA HD with the ground-breaking hardware developed by Agility Robotics, this partnership will allow each company to apply its core strengths to create an end product that is greater than the sum of its parts,” said Shinya Katanozaka, President and CEO of ANA HD. “By working in close collaboration with Agility Robotics, we will be able to take the Avatar platform to new places, opening up new possibilities. ANA remains committed to expanding the boundaries with Avatars and will continue to look for partners that allow the technology to reach its full potential.”

Agility Robotics’ latest modelOpens in a new window has a humanoid frame and is capable of independently traversing outdoor terrain. The robot is capable of climbing stairs and selecting its own routes, all while carrying objects.

By combining the research of Agility Robotics with ANA HD’s Avatar platform and core technology, ANA HD will enhance the Avatar capabilities of the robot, allowing it to be controlled from anywhere on the planet. Bringing these two principals together will result in a wide range of applicationsOpens in a new window in fields such as tourism and entertainment as well as security and potentially even emergency rescue and response.

This collaboration is part of a broader effort by ANA HD to reach out to partner companies and local governments to create an Avatar social infrastructure worldwide. This far-reaching plan will change the way that mobility is leveraged to solve social issues, and help create a society that exponentially increases freedom to learn, share and move.

Source: https://www.ana.co.jp/

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