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[EMIEW] Robot- Introduced at the Aichi EXPO

Robots are a bridge to conceptualizing interactive design. [People] hold the ultimate interactivity, but robots are their alternative. There is a strong impression that Sony and Honda are progressing in the field of robotics; however, Hitachi has been developing robots since the 1960's, and also has been actively investing in the field since the 1970's as well.

It might be caused by the influence of the animated series [Astroboy], but when people hear the word robot, they tend to form the image of a humanoid robot that has the same movements and abilities as a human being. Mechanical robots are more realistic. They are being introduced to state of the art factories, and objects used our daily lives incorporate robot technology.

For example, sensors for easy garage parking and other related functions are featured in modern automatic cars; those are types of robots. There are also robot cleaning machines on the market, with a strong possibility for robotic technology to be included in other household appliances. Humanoid robot development is progressing at Hitachi; however it is in the process of seeking its next direction. In as such, that the [EMIEW] robot released at the Aichi EXPO is the next step in future robotic technology.

This article was published in 2007 and edited and republished from [Social Innovation design- Hitachi Design challenge] (Nikkei publishing company).


Researchers, engineers and designers cooperated in the development of EMIEW, with the intent to show a new ideal in robotics. Words that arose in a discussion were [Hitachi-style], [useful] and [creates value].

In terms of being useful, there is a demand for fine reactions and movements to be the same speed as a human being. However, with the current level of technology, it is very difficult to even get a robot to walk. There are many walking type robots that can only move step by step while checking each step as they progress forward.

From those circumstances, the EMIEW was developed not to be a walking type robot, but rather it was selected to be a robot that runs on two wheels. The aim was to create a robot that can have a symbiotic relationship with humans. Designers designed the exterior and a focused on other parts the eyes don't see to create a robot that is familiar and unintimidating to humans. Drawing on suggestions from children, it features a high quality voice tone that was synthesized to give it a real sounding voice; with added performance gestures that make to make it more loveable.

The EMIEW was shown at the Aichi EXPO as it interacted with humans and briskly worked at the event on a stage. The entertainment industry was one scene that arose when thinking of prospective future uses of this robot. Even in the EMIEW's development, Hitachi made step towards new innovation design.

Shortly after that Hitachi's progressed in the development of the EMIEW2, a service robot that can safely exist with humans. It was awarded the 2008 Good Design Award.

This article was published in 2007 and edited and republished from [Social Innovation design- Hitachi Design challenge] (Nikkei publishing company).

EMIEW3 and robotics IT platform