Hitachi trial assistant robots at Tokyo International Airport

Hitachi and its subsidiary Hitachi Building Systems have announced that they will begin collaboration on Proof of Concept tests that aim to bring assistant humanoid robots to airports.

The tests will be conducted using their “EMIEW3” humanoid robot at Haneda Airport  Passenger Terminal 2, in collaboration with Japan Airport Terminal Co. Through these PoC tests, Hitachi and Hitachi Building Systems aim to create new added value in order to enhance customer reception and guidance services in locations where many customers gather, such as shopping malls, airports, and other public facilities.

Hitachi originally developed the EMIEW robot, which engages in dialogue and physical interactions with humans, in 2005. After numerous modifications, the EMIEW3 was released in April 2016. The EMIEW3 is a humanoid robot that moves independently with customers who require support in shopping malls and other public spaces. It was developed to provide support in customer operations through various services, such as customer reception and guidance.

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Haneda Airport is a “gateway to the world” that welcomes not only passengers traveling within Japan, but also foreign travelers visiting Japan from other countries. There has been an increasing demand to improve “barrier free” services and provide greater information accessibility to all persons using this airport; at the same time, this is an ideal location for introducing Japan’s cutting-edge technologies to the world.

Through the PoC tests conducted at Haneda Airport, Hitachi and Hitachi Building Systems will use the EMIEW3’s multi-language dialogue and autonomous running functions to provide customers with information on shops and facilities, and to guide them to their destinations. By offering support in these types of guidance operations, they will improve the quality of services for diverse customers, and contribute to smooth movement in the airport by optimizing guidance methods.

[Fig. 1]Image of PoC tests (Step 1), [Fig. 2]Image of PoC tests (Step 2)

The test period begins immediately and lasts until December 2016.

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