Winnipeg Airport gets self-driving snowplow


In a world that's buzzing about self-driving cars and buses for the future, Winnipeg has something to buzz about, too: Otto, the world's first self-driving runway snowplow.

It's actually a Snow Mauler, built by Airport Technology Inc., modified for autonomous operation by Northstar Robotics in partnership with the Winnipeg Airports Authority.

Equipped with 3D Lidar and radar that can sense its surroundings—and a 'fault-tolerant' emergency stop system for when it can't—the robot is now able to clear simpler parts of the airport layout.  Further software work will make Otto able to clear more complex areas of the field in future.

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It will have lots of practice for much of the year and fortunately there's not much to hit except the rare plane taking off and landing.  Let's hope it leaves the aircraft alone.

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

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