Honda's latest autonomous robot is designed to move things around construction sites
The 3rd-gen 'Autonomous Work Vehicle can drive itself around with a two pallet load.
Honda is known for both vehicles and robots, and over the last few years it has tried combining those two things with the Autonomous Work Vehicle (AWV). It just unveiled a new 3rd-generation version designed to transport up to two palettes worth of goods around worksites with no human assistance. This time, though, Honda is keen to find companies willing to try it out.
The AWV has evolved from what was basically an ATV with the top chopped off, to a glorified autonomous electric wagon to the current model. Compared to the 2nd-generation version, the latest AWV has a larger bed size (two pallets) and higher capacity (2,000 pounds); a higher self-driving speed of up to 10 MPH; a larger battery that offers up to 10 hours and 28 miles of endurance; better avoidance functions; and a lower bed for easier loading.
It can operate autonomously or via remote control through challenging terrain like construction sites, thanks to a suite of sensors on the mast. Those include GPS, radar, LiDAR and camera technologies, along with cloud connectivity, all controlled by a tablet-based interface. "Previous field tests have also successfully verified that multiple Honda AWVs can transport and deliver construction materials and supplies at precise points along a pre-set route," the company said.
The AWV will allow construction and other companies to address issues like labor shortages and worksite transport, Honda believes. After extensively testing the last model, it said the AWV version 3.0 is now ready for real-life field trials, and is looking for partners at a construction trade show taking place in Las Vegas starting March 14th, 2023.
"We want to meet with potential business partners and companies at CONEXPO that are interested in field testing the vehicle at their worksite. We believe the Honda AWV can be a valuable solution to supporting construction teams while also enhancing worksite efficiencies and safety," said Honda Motor systems engineering manager Jason VanBuren.