This little robot wants to help you shop

Powered by a 'remote brain,' it promises to know when you need help

SoftBank's Pepper robot may still be the better-known contender, but a new humanoid device from Hitachi aims to be the in-store sales rep of the future.

Called EMIEW3, the roughly 3-foot-tall unit can determine when customers need help and then approach them autonomously, Hitachi said on Friday. Using what it calls "remote brain" technology, the company developed the robot with customer service in mind for use in stores and other public venues.

EMIEW3 is actually the latest iteration in a series following Hitachi's introduction of the original EMIEW back in 2005. EMIEW2, announced in 2007, featured capabilities such as the ability to move at a brisk human walking pace and to distinguish the human voice from background noise.

EMIEW2 could also use indoor network cameras as "eyes" to locate objects. Artificial intelligence capabilities made it possible for the device to converse much the way a human would, while a predictive function helped it avoid collisions.

Now, EMIEW3 adds several more important features, including the ability to use network cameras and human movement to identify when someone needs assistance and then approach them to offer help. It can also right itself if knocked over.

The "remote brain" system behind it all consists of a robotics IT platform connected to cloud-based processing technology and a remote operation system to monitor and control multiple robots at various locations. Processing is done centrally, so if one robot fails, restoration instructions can be sent from a remote location to resume services quickly.

Weighing about 33 pounds, EMIEW3 can move as fast as 3.7 miles per hour, which is about three times as fast as Pepper's maximum speed. It will reportedly go on sale in 2018.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags robotsSoftbank

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Katherine Noyes

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?