MontaVista Linux Powers Mitsubishi's Human-size Household Robot

4/23/2003 - MontaVista Software, Inc., the company powering the embedded revolution, announced that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (TSE: 7011) has chosen MontaVista® Linux® to power ‘wakamaru’, the first human-size robot that can function as a house sitter, and watch over or provide companionship to individuals.

MontaVista Software is displaying and demonstrating this revolutionary robot in its Booth (# 2210) at the Embedded Systems Conference this week in San Francisco, at the Moscone Center.

“We relied on MontaVista Linux as an operational foundation to design and develop this complicated and innovative robot. We built ‘wakamaru’ on MontaVista Linux because the sophisticated software base and its superior networking capabilities allowed us to focus on the complex programming that makes this new robot human-like,” said Ken Onishi, Engineering Manager, Robotics Group, New Products & Space Systems Department, Mitsubishi Heavy Industry, Ltd. “The robust operating system plays an important role in enabling ‘wakamaru’ to service a household 24 hours a day.”

‘wakamaru’ features continuous access to the Internet and comes equipped with voice and face recognition capabilities that allow the robot to search for and follow voices, faces and movements. It has the ability to comprehend and interact with humans (such as discussing daily news it obtains via the Internet) based on an built-in dictionary and voice recognition, and can be programmed to call or e-mail a designated person, a hospital or security firm if it notices a problem. When connecting remotely to ‘wakamaru’ via its built-in camera-equipped mobile phone, users can see images of the house the robot serves and even communicate with family members at home.

‘wakamaru’ is 3.3 feet tall and weighs 60 pounds. The battery-operated robot moves about on wheels and recharges itself when its batteries run low.

“As electronic devices evolve into highly complex, intelligent, networked devices, the software supporting their rich functionality needs to be equally capable and robust,” said Jim Ready, CEO and president, MontaVista Software. “MontaVista Linux is a powerful systems software platform that meets these needs and helps to bring such advanced products to market more quickly. We are proud to support Mitsubishi and enable them to bring creative solutions such as ‘wakamaru’ quickly to market.”

Availability and Pricing
‘wakamaru’, which promises to be an ideal help for elderly people, the disabled or others living independently, will be available in the Japanese market first, beginning in 2004, for about 1 million Yen (approximately US $14,250).

About MontaVista Linux Professional Edition
MontaVista® Linux® Professional Edition (Pro) is one of the most sophisticated embedded operating systems and development environments available. It supports a range of enhanced interactive features in advanced consumer electronics by providing high performance, real-time capability and the service reliability that consumers expect.

Pro boasts the industry’s most comprehensive support for embedded processor architectures, CPU boards and software components. It targets more than 25 processors from eight industry-leading architectures and supports more than 80 boards offering developers great freedom to choose the elements for their development environment, which in effect allows them to speed cutting-edge products to market faster and at a lower cost.

About MontaVista Software
MontaVista Software is a leading global supplier of systems software for intelligent connected devices and associated infrastructure. MontaVista powers the embedded revolution by providing GNU/Linux-based open-source software solutions. Founded in 1999 by real-time operating system (RTOS) pioneer James Ready, MontaVista offers a family of products under the MontaVista Linux umbrella that address broad-based software developer needs encompassing applications ranging from communications infrastructure to consumer electronics. Multiple editions of MontaVista Linux are available including Professional, Consumer Electronics and Carrier Grade, along with complementary technology products providing powerful Java and graphics development capabilities.

Headquartered in the heart of Silicon Valley, in Sunnyvale, Calif., MontaVista Software is a privately held company funded by leading investors such as Alloy Ventures, US Venture Partners, RRE Ventures, WR Hambrecht + Co., IBM, Intel Capital, Sony, Panasonic (Matsushita), Toshiba America and Yamaha Corporation. For more information about MontaVista Software, please visit

About Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan is one of the world's leading global heavy machinery manufacturers, with fiscal 2001 (ended March 31, 2002) consolidated sales of 2,863 billion yen. MHI's diverse line-up of products and services encompasses shipbuilding, steel structures, power plants, chemical plants, steel plants, environmental equipment, machinery for industrial and general use, aircraft, space rocketry and air-conditioning systems. For more information, please visit the MHI Web site at

Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. MontaVista is a registered trademark of MontaVista Software Inc.

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