Date: 2005 March 19 13:30
Posted by Joe
Japanese electronics firm Hitachi has unveiled its first humanoid robot, but unlike other Sony's Qrio or Honda's Asimo, Emiew has wheels instead of legs. Hitachi announced that it's the worlds quickest moving robot, able to move at 6km/h (3.7 miles per hour).
Eminew stands for Excellent Mobility and Interactive Existence as Workmate. The robot has a vocabulary of around 100 words, and is intended for practical office and factory use in as little as 5 to 6 years.
Japanese firms like Sony, Honda and Toyota have all unveiled robots to showcase their engineering talent and are currently used for Research and Development as well as big PR exercises. These robots are currently not for sale (unless you want to buy Sony's robot dog Aibo). Until the last few years bipedal robots have been hard to make since walking required a lot of quick processing power (you've got to balance, transfer weight, deal with momentum and so on), the Otaku News Crew suspect that along with the extra benefit of speed, Hitachi have decided to use wheels instead of legs because it is easier to produce a robot, their Mechanical Engineering Research Laboratory have produced a fascinating range of robots over the last 40 years, but to our knowledge none of them have only two legs.
The BBC News site has more details about Eminew, Honda's Asimo page has a great history section too.