The Honda ASIMO, is a humanoid robot developed by Honda’s Research & Development Wako Fundamental Technical Research Center. Many have said that it looks like an astronaut wearing a backpack, and some have said that this is what adds charm to the machine which looks set to push technological functionality to the next level.
Advanced Step in Innovation Mobility
The name of the robot is an acronym for ‘Advanced Step in Innovation Mobility’, the first models were created in 1986 and 1993 and were part of the E-series but these were simply experimental models. The P-series models went further developing on the E-series by adding arms to the robot. The first ASIMO model was unveiled in 2000 with modifications made up until now, when the updated version of the robot was unveiled.
The new model looks a great deal better, and the improvements made allow it to run faster, navigate its way through a crowd and pour a drink.
The demonstration took place at the Tokyo suburban research facility, and it was used to show those critics that Asimo did have practical use in the modern world. Critics of the machine in 2000 said that the robot offered nothing to the real world and was simply a glorified toy and a showcase for the car manufacturer.
Takanobu Ito, Honda President, told reporters that a robot arm was developed in six months with the intention of helping with the nuclear crisis which occurred in north-eastern Japan. The arm is so functional that it can open and close valves at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, reducing the need for any human to put their life at risk, since the plant went into meltdown after the Tsunami in March this year.
Autonomous artificial intelligence
The car manufacturer is working closely with people from the affected power plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co., to help meet the demand to bring the plant under some control. As such the Asimo can now jog faster than it had done in 2005, reaching 9 kilometres per hour (5.6 mph) compared to the 6 kph (3.7 mph). It is also able to push better with its toes, meaning the run was a great deal smoother and not as jerky as in the past.
Asimo also contains autonomous artificial intelligence meaning that it can potentially make its way through crowds of people without remote control or stopping each time to check on its programming.