back to article Hitachi 'collision avoidance' bot does a Ballmer at press do

Japanese industry colossus Hitachi yesterday unveiled a new robot boasting proprietary "agile collision avoidance" technology, only to see the cutting-edge droid crash violently into furniture in front of the world press. AP reports that the diminutive 80cm robot, asked where someone was sitting, unexpectedly cried "I will …


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  1. Neil

    You have fifteen seconds to comply

    ED-209 is becoming real, people. Run whilst you still can.

  2. Pete Silver badge

    complete misrepresentation

    ... you should be ashamed of this report.

    This hysterical and robo-phobic report is nothing like what the A.P. story says. You have completely blown it out of all proportion just to get a juicy headline. The robot in question bumped once, then was grabbed before it fell over, since it operates on two wheels (a trick neither you nor I could manage)

    There was no "orgy of violence" and no possibility (sadly) of any reporters getting dismembered.

    Get a grip and stick to reporting the facts if you want to retain your credibitiy. If not, go work for the Daily Mail - this is just up their street.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    I'm very disappointed, Dick

    "AP reports that the diminutive 80cm robot, asked where someone was sitting, unexpectedly cried "I will take you there - follow me," in a "boylike electronic voice"."

    If the person sitting in that chair had any sense, he would have bolted for the door immediately. You can't take a chance with rogue robots. My advice for anyone who has been chosen to take part in a robot demonstration is to note the location of the nearest stairwell. Robots can't climb stairs, they don't have the nous.

    I pick Paris Hilton as my avatar, because she is also a mindless automaton.

  4. Marc Lawrence

    Tripped out


    Reminds me of many happy hours listening to Magic Roundabout. Is the happy Penguin explaining how the new Android operating system is used for these Segway reincarnations...

    At least we know where all the Segways went...

  5. Marvin the Martian
    Dead Vulture

    It's a Frikkin Segway

    Of course it's in the <harmless/unhelpful> cathegory. No need to spread panic!

  6. Dan


    No Pete, YOU go off and find a Daily Mail, since your (lack of) sense of humour and outrage at disintegration of society is just up their street. Try reading other robot-related stories on this site and you'll see what I mean.

    Although to be fair to you, this one wasn't filed under ROTM.

  7. Ash


    Do you get the impression they picked the acronym before the name?

  8. cor

    Very impressive but ...

    I'd still put my money on Ballmer when it comes to the ballistics.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: complete misrepresentation

    What is your major malfunction numb nuts?

    It "could perhaps" be blown out of all proportion to make it interesting.

    Just like Hitachi "could perhaps" have just been doing some crappy PR stunt demoing a non-product that doesn't even represent a significant advance.

    Sadly, it seems that the ability to perceive irony "could perhaps" be disappearing from the world.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    @ Pete

    I often travel on two wheels, in fact my daily commute often affords me the opportunity to do this though a mechanism known as a bicycle.

    I hear some madman has even developed a engine powered version of this contrivance, and it may even allow the foolhardy rider to travel at speeds above 30 miles per hour! Surely deadly, as a man would suffocate at such speeds!

  11. tom


    "it operates on two wheels (a trick neither you nor I could manage)"

    still got the stabilisers on your bike eh?

  12. TeeCee Gold badge


    " operates on two wheels (a trick neither you nor I could manage)...."

    May I suggest that you take the two little wheels off the back of your bicycle? I think that you're old enough now..........

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Excitable Machine, Impractically Erratic Walker?

  14. Andy


    Click on "more by this author" and you will discover that your rant makes you look a little bit like a newcomer here. There are a few running jokes on this site that make it an entertaining place to read news. Clearly you weren't aware of them, or of Mr Page's famous ability to make a story out of anything at all really.

    I'm just disappointed that Hitachi gave their death droid a silly red nose. In the clip it is also appears to be held in place by a pink (!) restraining bar. When releasing a mechakiller I do not want to have to unfasten a pretty pink restraining bar, I want a black one with a skull on it and some chrome spikes.

  15. paulc

    Reminds me of Rosie, the maid from "The Jetsons"

    although, I can't for the life of me work out what that manic penguin mascot was doing in the video... is this robot running Linux?

    also I really loved the way the robot leaned in on the fast corners...

  16. Gianni Straniero


    Check it out:

    He can use two wheels and two legs at the same time.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    What company name appears at the top of your payslip?

  18. b166er


    Hate to split hairs, but shouldn't that be 20 seconds?

  19. Craig

    is it me or are those Segway bots

    just following the lines on the floor. I don't see this as much of an advance in anything to be honest. They must have been demoing the Tantrumbot-2000 AI instead.

    Also, that penguin is ace.

  20. John A Blackley

    @complete misrepresentation


    I understand how you feel. Once upon a time (when the world was young and I was new here), I looked for consistently straight stories on El Reg. You'll get used to it.

    However, you may not get used to the vitriol and intolerance you receive from El reg's core readership.

    BTW, how did JonB know your nuts are numb?

  21. u235
    Thumb Down

    I demand a Rod Hull joke!

    Or have they all been done by now?

  22. Daniel Silver badge



    .....ach forget it. Guess you've learned your lesson by now.

  23. Fred

    lol @ all the @Pete's

    I love El Reg...

    Some place to come for a slagging...

    Oh, and for once, no one's said they were gonna get their coat... oops sorry.

  24. Schultz
    Black Helicopters

    egg on their face

    We all know that Machine Dominance is only a question of time, but looking at those rolling easter eggs I feel we can hold them off for a while longer. Unless they go nuts and use their unimpressive height to go for your nuts.

  25. Matthew Sinclair
    Dead Vulture

    @ @Pete's

    You people are really delusional aren't you?

    Obviously this was "pumped" up to look good.

    Must be the CNN Fanboy's reading the elReg these days.

    CNN = Convoluted News Network

    Grow a brain...then read the article... you might see why the few of us disagree with the statements.

  26. Jon Tocker

    Too late for the dismemberment

    Barely arrived in time to stomp on the bloody fragments. But...

    For the last 26 years I've been capable of the "trick" of operating on two wheels - even picked up "certified evidence" a couple of times that I was operating in this manner at speeds in excess of 100km/h (signed by no less than sworn members of the police and tested using certified accurate equipment...)

    These days, due to financial constraints, I do not operate on two wheels any faster than the numbers on the signs indicate I should, but I still manage the "trick" - have done for around 26 years.

    It's even possible to do it and maintain both "high speed mobility" and "agile collision avoidance" when surrounded by large numbers of large moving obstacles that shift and change position at a whim - often without any forewarning - over all sorts of terrain and various visibility conditions.

    Scary, but true.

    It's even possible, given the right two wheels, to operate away from smooth hard surfaces and traverse gravel, deep sand, slippery mud and clay, grass and soft dirt. I can "operate" up and down steep and uneven grades, go straight down vertical sections and over smallish branches and other obstacles in my path.

    And there are those out there who can operate on two wheels far bettter than I can and maintain "high speed mobility" and "agile collision avoidance" while hopping from boulder to boulder...

  27. Magilla

    @ @ @Pete's

    You must be new here.

    Oops, wrong site...

  28. Nìall Tracey

    @Pete (Complete Misrepresentation)

    TWO wheels?!?!?

    Kids today... don't know ye're born.

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