Hitachi's new humanoid robot distinguishes voices

Hitachi showcased the latest version of EMIEW2, their two-wheeled robot, at the Hitachi uValue Convention 2008 [JP], the company’s annual private exhibition.

EMIEW2’s biggest selling point is an array of 14 microphones integrated into its head. The robot is able to tell the difference between three human voices simultaneously. Hitachi developed a voice recognition technology that is based on sound source separation and sound pattern recognition. The first makes it possible for the robot to filter out noise, while the former enables EMIEW2 to detect the direction of the person speaking. Hitachi says EMIEW2 can process voices of people standing up to 2 meters away.

Weighing just 13kg (57kg less than the first model), EMIEW2 stands at 80cm tall. For this second version, Hitachi developed a walking function with which the robot can navigate through uneven areas. Powered by a lithium-ion battery, EMIEW2 can be operated for 1 hour with one charge.

Watch the robot in action here [JP].

Via Tech-On