Its full name is Excellent Mobility and Interactive Existence as Workmate, and this second-gen version of Hitachi's EMIEW office worker robot is a lot better looking than the original. At its launch today, however, things didn't quite go to plan, and what was meant to be a showcase in up-to-the-minute robot fabulousness turned into a ZOMG-I-think-it's-drunk moment.
Due to the unprecedented number of hits on the Hitachi website (everyone wanting a piece of the 31-inch high, 29-pound robot, I suppose), EMIEW 2's wireless communications took a beating, and the little android crashed into its desk, meaning he had to be put through his paces later on in the day.
The Mk 2 version sports Transformer-style legs and a weird face that looks like it's begging to have a Hello Kitty bow and whiskers drawn on it. It can get on its knees — something I always look for when I'm on the hunt for a new slave — as well as lift its feet over obstacles that are an inch off the ground. There's also a built-in radar system that, when it is working properly, stops it from bumping into objects in the room. [Pink Tentacle]