The world’s most advanced humanoid robot can run smoothly at a record 9kph (5.6mph), recognizes faces and voices, shakes hands, has incredible balance — can jump, hop, climb stairs, kick soccer balls, pour drinks without spilling — and signs in both American and Japanese Sign Language, among many other skills made possible by decades of technological research.
ASIMO stands for Advanced Step in Innovative MObility, is the size of a child at 130 cm (4ft 3in) tall and 48 kg (106lbs), and, based on research and prototypes dating back to the 1980s, was first introduced in October 2000. Honda’s summer 2014 video, promoting ASIMO and UNI-CUB β, outlines the company’s latest generation of robotic capabilities.
What’s the future goal for this 14 year old robot? Senior chief engineer Satoshi Shigemi explains in Wallpaper:
Our ultimate vision is to create an assistant robot that can exist among humans in a household, just like a primary schoolchild who starts helping out around the home… Three years ago we started trials in real conditions, in a museum where Asimo can give information to visitors, etc. The feedback is very helpful. But the ultimate goal of a mass produced robot for every household is still 10-20 years away.
Humanoid robots might especially be useful for assisting people with limited physical capabilities. They could also be vital in emergency search and rescue operations, or for executing difficult tasks in dangerous situations.
In the archives: MORE ROBOTS!