Segway's 'mobility robot platform' to begin mass production

Updated 2017-01-21 10:22:24 China Daily
Loomo, the first consumer robot produced by Segway, is on display during a press conference held in January 19, 2017 in Beijing. (Liu Zheng/chinadaily.com.cn)

Loomo, the first consumer robot produced by Segway, is on display during a press conference held in January 19, 2017 in Beijing. (Liu Zheng/chinadaily.com.cn)

A China-made mobile robot is set to begin mass production for consumers later this year.

Ninebot (Beijing) Tech Co Ltd, backed by Smartphone maker Xiaomi, unveiled its self-balancing two-wheeled robot on Thursday in Beijing.

Named "Loomo", the robot was transformed from the Ninebot Mini series scooter, which was first launched in October 2015, months after the company made an announcement to acquire the 12-year-old US-based balancing-scooter pioneer Segway Inc, and became one of the largest patent holders in the industry.

The acquisition followed an million investment in Ninebot by Xiaomi, Sequoia Capital and other investors.

The original prototype of the robot was debuted at the international Consumer Electronics Show (CES) early last year in Las Vegas.

The core business of the startup has then expanded to two main categories: Segway PT (Personal Transportation) and Segway Robotics.

An artificial intelligence system was installed in the robot to establish look, listening and speaking skills by Intel's computing unit and a variety of sensors, such as RealSense depth perception sensor and microphone array sensor.

On the hardware side, Segway Robot provides a hardware extension bay that connects to additional accessories.

During this year's CES, the company collaborated with BMW to deploy a customized parking assistant service for the latter's vehicles.

Sarah Zhang, senior director and head of Robotics Business Operations of Ninebot, told China Daily that the company is looking forward to working with more auto manufacturers to implement the service for drivers and also is willing to create customized service for high-end parking lots, similar to the charging piles that set up for Tesla drivers.

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