Humanoid bots at hotel guests' service

Hitachi's humanoid "Emiew" robots got some on-the-job training this week that could prove helpful should the bots settle on a career in hospitality. The little guys showed off their mobility, voice recognition and speech skills by greeting guests at the Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay hotel as part of a weeklong publicity campaign by the Sheraton and Hitachi.

Emiew robots

Hitachi unveiled the self-balancing Emiew last year, calling it the fastest robot yet. The 4.2-foot sensor-loaded bot uses wheels instead of feet to move at a spritely 3.7 mph. It avoids obstacles and chats with human counterparts using a vocabulary of about 100 words.

Competing humanoid bots trying to muscle in on Emiew's space include Honda's Asimo and Sony's Qrio.

About the author

Leslie Katz, Crave's senior editor, heads up a team that covers the most crushworthy (and wackiest) tech, science, and culture around. As a co-host of the now-retired CNET News Daily Podcast, she was sometimes known to channel Terry Gross and still uses her trained "podcast voice" to bully the speech recognition software on automated customer service lines. E-mail Leslie.

 

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