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
TOKYO, JAPAN, 2019-Oct-17 — /Travel PR News/ — ANA HOLDINGS INC. (hereinafter “ANA HD”) signed a memorandum of understanding with Agility Robotics, a startup spinoff 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, 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 model 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 applications 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.
Following the “Inspiration of Japan” high quality of service, ANA has been awarded the respected 5-Star rating every year since 2013 from SKYTRAX. ANA is the only Japanese airline to win this prestigious designation seven years in a row. Additionally, ANA has been recognized by Air Transport World as “Airline of the Year” three times in the past 10 years – 2007, 2013 and 2018, becoming one of the few airlines winning this prestigious award for multiple times.
ANA was founded in 1952 with two helicopters and has become the largest airline in Japan, as well as one of the most significant airlines in Asia, operating 82 international routes and 121 domestic routes. ANA offers a unique dual hub model which enables passengers to travel to Tokyo and connect through the two airports in the metropolitan Tokyo, NARITA and HANEDA, to various destinations throughout Japan, and also offers same day connections between various North American, Asian and Chinese cities.
ANA has been a member of Star Alliance since 1999 and has joint venture partnerships with United Airlines, Lufthansa German Airlines, Swiss International Airlines and Austrian Airlines.
Besides the full service and award winner carrier ANA, the ANA Group has two LCCs as consolidated subsidiaries, Vanilla Air Inc. and Peach Aviation Limited. The ANA Group carried 54.4 million passengers in FY2018, has approximately 43,000 employees and a fleet of 260 aircraft. ANA is a proud launch customer and the biggest operator of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
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ANA Corporate Communications
Source: All Nippon Airways (ANA)