Hitachi has a new robot, and it’s poised to take on Softbank’s Pepper. The new robot is called EMIEW3, which doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, and it’s humanoid in shape with a “remote brain” platform. The robot — or some future version of it — could be deployed in stores to seek and approach customers, offering assistance when applicable. The original version of this robot, EMIEW, was introduced in 2005.
Following the original EMIEW was the second generation, EMIEW2, introduced in 2007. This latest model represents the newest developments and technology, building upon previous features to “efficiently provide customer and guidance services” that include directly helping a customer who has asked for it, approaching people and asking if they need assistance, and talking with other robots deployed in a store.
At the core of EMIEW3 is a so-called remote brain that can process images, voice, and languages. Unlike humans, the robots could also be tapped into a larger network to learn about the store’s present conditions and needs. For example, network cameras can be set up and with them the robot can see how many customers are present and where they’re located, enabling it to seek them out directly.
The robots are also designed to talk with each other, and as such the remote operation system can send data from one to another, allowing for the “smooth transition of services.” Finally, the new robot model has an improved body that weighs 15kg and is 90cm tall. This model can travel at speeds up to 6km/h, and adjusts its rate of movement to match that of nearby humans. If someone knocks it over, this latest model can right itself.