Hitachi, the Japanese company that I believe brought us the Ginsu knife and the world’s most adorable handheld digital pet, the Tamagotchi, has redefined the motorcar with its release of the ROPITS (Robot for Personal Intelligent Transport System).
Designed to fit the needs of a rapidly aging population, the ROPITS can be preprogrammed by tablet computer to use its GPS system and collection of front- and back-mounted gyro sensors to follow a specific route with stops along the way to pick up and drop off its passengers. Its makers have refused to comment on the rumors that the ROPITS is not able to stand a breath-blast from Godzilla.
The Twiggy-the-model thin vehicle, it will never be popular in the heavy-bottomed states, is neither powerful nor fast. The top speed its electric motor provides is six miles per hour, which just so happens to be my jogging pace as well. However, I must admit, I cannot maintain that speed with an elderly Japanese on my back.
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