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Hitachi has developed an adorable robot perfect for helping your geriatric friends walk. The EMIEW ("Excellent Mobility and Interactive Existence as Workmate," natch) will be presented at the 2005 World Expo in Japan, where robots seem to be a recurring theme. Incredibly agile and quick, the EMIEW can also recognize the voice of its master and avoid objects, like any robotic weeble should. The EMIEW can apparently determine where you are by the sound of your voice, among other neat features. The loosely translated Hitachi press release enlightens us with more if you're so inclined.

(Update confessional: Akihabara News' piece places the robot as a walking assistant but this piece on Reuters makes no such mention. Plus, they have names! Pal and Chum, actually. But they're just quick on their feet, not necessarily able to keep you on yours.)

Translated Press Release [Hitachi via AkihabaraNews]