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article imageNorth America’s first autonomous airport snowplow unveiled

By Karen Graham     Mar 17, 2019 in Technology
On March 15, Winnipeg Richardson International Airport (CYWG) introduced “Otto,” the first autonomous airport snowplow in North America.
This unique snowplow is the result of a partnership with Manitoba companies Northstar Robotics Inc. and Airport Technologies Inc. (ATI).
The snowplow is able to remove snow following "pre-determined" routes and is only being used in less complex areas of the airport for now while further research and development (R&D) continues.
The plow itself is equipped with 3D Lidar and radar that allows it to sense its surroundings. The plow is also equipped with a fault tolerant wireless emergency stop system, a further safety enhancement.
“We use GPS to guide the vehicle up and down the paths, we want to maintain and we use sensors like LIDAR and radar to sense around it,” Shawn Schaerer of Northstar Robotics said, reports CTV News Canada. “If there's something in front of it, it stops.”
“Launching North America’s first autonomous snowplow is a great achievement for Winnipeg Richardson International Airport,” said Barry Rempel, president, and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority. “Our success is a direct result of bringing together partners who are committed to lead transportation innovation and growth.”
Winnipeg-based Northstar Robotics Inc. is a robotics technology company that was founded by an experienced farmer and robotics engineer.
Airport Technologies Inc (ATI) is a Canadian Company. ATI's manufacturing plant is located at Southport Aerospace Centre near Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. The company specializes in building “purpose-built” Airport Plow Vehicles - the Snow Mauler, and the High-Speed Airport Snowblower; the Snow Wolf. ATI's snow plows are found in airports in Canada, the United States and internationally.
More about Otto, autonomous showplow, Winnipeg, ATI Snow Mauler, Robotics
 
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