By on January 31, 2013

They are a familiar sight – and sound – at Nissan factories and those of other OEMs around the world: Little machines that truck around the factory floor while belting out “Mary had a little lamb,” or other distinguished ditties. Now, they star in their own YouTube video.

They are called “Carrybees” and are made by Nissan subsidiary Aichikikai Techno System. A cross between apparatus and apparition, and around foot high, the Carrybees usually deliver parts to the line, while singing a loud an happy tune. They do this all by themselves, guided by a magnetic strip taped to the factory floor.

Allegedly, the tunes they play, rather loudly, are not for the own entertainment of the little machines, but to warn people of an approaching Carrybee. In case the folks are hard of hearing, sensors make the Carrybee stop after it makes contact with a shin.

The Carrybees run off a lithium battery good for an 8 hour shift. The more intelligent Carrybees are ideal for corporate life: When reaching their lows, they automatically find someone to suck up to, and to recharge their battery. Aichikikai makes about 400 Carrybees a year, to supply and entertain workers at major OEMs such as Toyota, Mitsubishi, General Motors, Volkswagen, Fiat and Hyundai.

According to Nissan’s Dan Sloan, “CarryBees may add Kraftwerk’s ‘Fun, fun, fun on the Autobahn’ in the next song mix.” Surely, he jests.

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8 Comments on “Nissan’s Happy Crawlers...”

  • avatar

    Why these don’t play the Super Mario Brothers theme is a severe oversight.

  • avatar

    I remember these fondly. The only time they made me nervous was when I was in a new part of the body shop and wasn’t quite sure if I was in the safe zone between them, and the frantically flailing panel robots. Unlike the trim line where I got a human warning like: “Out of my way PLEASE! I’ve got 45 seconds to install this cross-member, so I don’t have time for tourists.” He was right, so I stayed out of his path.

  • avatar

    Not to worry, they have all kinds of sensors. They will stop before you get squished. With a man controlled lift truck,you might not get so lucky.

  • avatar

    We have a similar one here, made by Creform though. work pretty good but they have the same music, I’m pretty sure its an off the shelf unit that makes the music, seeing how we have them on about 3 different kinds from 3 different manufacturers.

  • avatar
    Robert Gordon

    These are common at most modern car plants. Even Ford Australia has them.

  • avatar
    Jonathan H.

    I work for a construction company and spend most of my life in a Toyota plant around these things. The worst is when I’m working all day on a Saturday and one of these little vehicles is parked near where I’m working and plays one of these songs over and over for the ten hours I’m there. I guess no one programmed it to stop when the production line does. It’s maddening.

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