Well this is interesting. I was reading New Scientist today and spotted a new humanoid robot that's been developed, this time by Hitachi! The EMIEW (“excellent mobility and interactive existence as work mate”) was created to rival the Honda Asimo, and the Sony Qrio. I'm surprised I haven't seen it before. I think it must have been overlooked in my AI lectures because it only has wheels instead of legs =( lol, well I think it looks promising anyway. Here's a little video of it moving around.
Apparently it is the world's fastest moving robot yet at 6km/h (3.7 miles per hour), however this is not surprising when its competition have to do all kinds of incredible calculations with each step to maintain balance on dynamic surfaces. I guess it is kind of a cheat. On the other hand though, why have feet if you don't need them; the reasoning Hitachi gives is as follows:
"We want to make the robots useful for people ... If the robots moved slower than people, users would be frustrated."
That's fair. Excellent for bungalow dwellers. As for everyone else: I hope you have your Stenna Stairlifts installed.
Anyway, what it can do, is as follows: the 130-cm-tall machine apparently has the ability to avoid obstacles, respond to simple voice commands, perform basic household tasks such as sweeping the floor, and it can also read the weather forecast. It has additionally been suggested as a useful gadget for people with mobility problems, to be used as a walking-aid.
It seems the latest thing these bots have been up to recently is their installation at the Grand Tokyo Bay Hotel, acting as hotel clerks. Now that would be interesting to see! Almost as good as the robotic drinks waiter at Yo Sushi, lol! I like that thing, scurrying around the floor muttering Japanese in its electronica voice, its very nice!