The EMIEW2 robot moves along on rollers to serve guests and act as a security guard. This little humanoid (32 inches tall) has complex spring-loaded shock absorbers in its legs that allow it to navigate the natural world with at least a few bumps. "EMIEW2" stands for excellent mobility and interactive existence as workmate.
"It can control its posture the way humans do when we stabilise ourselves after jumping on inline skates," Yuji Hosoda, chief researcher at Hitachi's transportation systems department, said at the robot's Tokyo launch.
The machine, 80 centimetres (32 inches) tall and weighing 14 kilogrammes (almost 31 pounds), has 14 microphones fitted into its helmet that can pick out human voices from background noise such as music or the clatter of footsteps.
Fitted with wheels on its two legs, it moves at a maximum six kilometres (3.7 miles) an hour, a fast walking speed for a human adult.
I seem to recall that the fascinating tachikoma robots from the 1991 manga Ghost in the Shell have a skating motion as well.
Readers of Fantasy and Science Fiction in the early 1960's might also recall the wheelies, the amazing rechargeable robots from Callahan and the Wheelies by Stephen Barr. They were described as "little objects on wheels... about the size of a rollerskate".