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To coexist with humans in the real world, robots need to be able to
respond to a host of changes that constantly occur in the course of
This includes the ability to reach a destination without colliding into
stationary or moving obstacles (such as fellow pedestrians) an ability
that requires the ability of autonomous robots to “see” the people
around them and measure their speed and direction
These latest upgrades, which build upon Hitachi’s original aim, include
outfitting EMIEW with a reliable human motion detection system,
which relies on lasers and distance sensors that constantly (40 times
per second) measure the distance to the legs and feet of the
Hitachi also revamped the operation patterns of EMIEW’s mobility
control technology. The new technology enables EMIEW to interpret the
data about the position and speed of the people nearby.
From this data, the robot calculates an imaginary circle of a fixed radius
around each person and selects a course based on those calculations.
In addition, Hitachi programmed EMIEW to search for new obstacles and
correct its course every half second (roughly the average amount of time
between a person’s footsteps). This process enables EMIEW to respond
when a nearby person changes speed or direction, or when a new person
moves into the robot’s path.