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Hitachi has developed a robot-called "EMIEW"*-for supporting people's everyday lives. EMIEW has the physical capabilities, such as agile movement and obstacle avoidance, needed for real life, and can move about while interacting in dialog with humans from a distance of one meter without the need for microphones. The technologies developed for EMIEW will lead the way in creating robots of the future that can cooperate and coexist with humans.
EMIEW was developed as part of the "Project for the Practical Application of Next-generation Robots" commissioned by the independent administrative agency NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization).
EMIEW stands for "Excellent Mobility and Interactive Existence as Workmate".
EMIEW applies a self-balancing two-wheel-motion mechanism that enables it to move in compact spaces swiftly in the same environment as a person at a speed in tune with the motion of that person. By measuring gradients with mounted sensors while driving its two wheels, it can move about and stop in a stable manner. Since it can move at maximum speed corresponding to a fast walking pace (i.e., 6 km/h), it will not annoy people by being "slow." Furthermore, by shifting it center of gravity by swinging its body from left to right, EMIEW combines agile changes of direction-unlike conventional "humanoid robots"-with the physical capabilities necessary for real life.
EMIEW is fitted with a "collision avoidance" function; that is, on detecting surrounding objects while in motion by means of mounted sensors, it confirms their location and movement, and then calculates the route it should take to avoid a collision with those objects. In contrast to technologies used in conventional types of "humanoid robots", this new technology gives robots the necessary functions for coexistence and cooperation with humans in real life.
As part of a joint research project between Tsukuba University and Hitachi, Ltd., this technology utilizes the results of cooperative research performed by Associate Professor Takashi TSUBOUCHI and Vice-chancellor Shinichi YUTA and Hitachi's Mechanical Engineering Research Laboratory.
Equipped with a vision sensor and multiple audio sensors, EMIEW can communicate in words over a distance of about one meter without need for any specialized devices. It analyzes the differences in sounds picked up by the various sensors in order to find the direction of the sound source. It then confirms the face of the person from whom the sound came by means of the vision sensor. In this way, it can even "hear" sounds and voices from separate locations. Moreover, by utilizing high-quality speech synthesis technology, EMIEW can respond in a natural-sounding voice.
EMIEW has two arms, each with six degrees of freedom, that enable it to move naturally in almost the same way as a person, and its two hands enable it to grasp things and carry them about. Moreover, it measures movements of people by means of "motion capture" technology, and it utilizes this measurement data in accomplishing richly expressive "body communication" with people.
|approx. 70 kg
|max. acceleration: 4 m/s2
|max speed: 6 km/h
|Moves body around obstacles
|Interaction at 1 m (without microphone; simultaneously with facial recognition)Detects sound direction from 360°around robot
|Arm: 6 degrees of freedom; hand: 1 degree of freedom
4th - 8th October 2005
6th - 28th August 2005
9th - 19th June 2005