Say Hello To ASIMO on Tech Tuesday!

Technology Tuesday at Buckeye HondaToday on Technology Tuesday with Buckeye Honda in Lancaster Ohio we are going to introduce you to ASIMO!

The Honda Motor Company developed ASIMO, which stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility, and is the most advanced humanoid robot in the world. According to the ASIMO Web site, ASIMO is the first humanoid robot in the world that can walk independently and climb stairs.

In addition to ASIMO’s ability to walk like we do, it can also understand preprogrammed gestures asimoand spoken commandsrecognize voices and faces and interface with IC Communication cards. ASIMO has arms and hands so it can do things like turn on light switches, open doors, carry objects, and push carts.

Rather than building a robot that would be another toy, Honda wanted to create a robot that would be a helper for people — a robot to help around the house, help the elderly, or help someone confined to a wheelchair or bed. ASIMO is 4 feet 3 inches (1.3 meters) high, which is just the right height to look eye to eye with someone seated in a chair. This allows ASIMO to do the jobs it was created to do without being too big and menacing. Often referred to as looking like a “kid wearing a spacesuit,” ASIMO’s friendly appearance and nonthreatening size work well for the purposes Honda had in mind when creating it.

ASIMO could also do jobs that are too dangerous for humans to do, like going into hazardous areas, disarming bombs, or fighting fires.

THE PAST
In 1986, Honda engineers set out to create a walking robot. Early models (E1, E2, E3) focused on developing legs that could simulate the walk of a human. The next series of models (E4, E5, E6) were focused on walk stabilization and stair climbing. Next, a head, body and arms were added to the robot to improve balance and add functionality. Honda’s first humanoid robot, P1 was rather rugged at 6’ 2” tall, and 386 lbs. P2 improved with a more friendly design, improved walking, stair climbing/descending, and wireless automatic movements. The P3 model was even more compact, standing 5’ 2” tall and weighing 287 lbs.
THE PRESENT
ASIMO is the culmination of two decades of humanoid robotics research by Honda engineers. ASIMO can run, walk on uneven slopes and surfaces, turn smoothly, climb stairs, and reach for and grasp objects. ASIMO can also comprehend and respond to simple voice commands. ASIMO has the ability to recognize the face of a select group of individuals. Using its camera eyes, ASIMO can map its environment and register stationary objects. ASIMO can also avoid moving obstacles as it moves through its environment.
THE FUTURE
As development continues on ASIMO, today Honda demonstrates ASIMO around the world to encourage and inspire young students to study the sciences. And in the future, ASIMO may serve as another set of eyes, ears, hands and legs for all kinds of people in need. Someday ASIMO might help with important tasks like assisting the elderly or a person confined to a bed or a wheelchair. ASIMO might also perform certain tasks that are dangerous to humans, such as fighting fires or cleaning up toxic spills.

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