Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Honda's life-like humanoid robot, "Asimo"

Recently I was looking through a lawnmower brochure from our local Honda Dealer. In one of the sidebars was a blurb about the different technologies Honda is involved with. One of the featured items was a robot called "Asimo". I was curious, so I googled it, and found the following:

ASIMO the world's most advanced humanoid robot

This link is Honda's main site about Asimo. It has links about the robot.From one of the pages:

Meet the Future: ASIMO

At Honda, we have always considered ourselves to be first and foremost a mobility company. We started out with motorcycles, because that was the quickest way to help people get around. But as we grew, we continued to focus on creating new dreams for our customers, and harnessing advanced technology to provide new and better mobility for people.

That passion for the advancement of mobility has led us to the creation of ASIMO, one of the world's most sophisticated humanoid robots. Building ASIMO was an incredible challenge for Honda engineers. It is the result of years of research in many scientific fields.

Honda engineers created ASIMO for the sole purpose of helping people. ASIMO has the unique ability to walk forward, backward, side step and even climb stairs with human-like agility. With the capability to navigate and operate in our world, ASIMO will be able to perform tasks to assist people, especially those lacking full mobility. ASIMO will serve as another set of eyes, ears, hands and legs for all kinds of people in need, and will provide them with a new sense of independence and mobility in their everyday lives.

The history link has a larger photo of the one below, of all the different models leading up to the current one, and many other details:

Asimo History
It's quite a fascinating evolution, and really quite an accomplishment. I suppose they made the current model smaller, like a child, because it was cheaper to build, and also made it seem less... menacing. When it moves, it's kinda scary. Below is a video of Asimo in action:

I find Asimo's movements so lifelike, it's both amazing and... kinda creepy!

You can also check out Asimo's page on Wikipedia for some quick facts.

The Japanese sure love their robots. Will there be a robot in YOUR future?

Oh Brave New World...


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