Honda’s Asimo robot has never been a slouch when it comes to pace and agility, with a previous version of the car company’s mechanical mate notching up a fairly respectable top speed of 3 km/h. The newest model however would never be out of the drug testing lab were it an athlete, as it can now rattle along at a very impressive 6 km/h. Leaving its technologically inferior cousin for dust.
Yet don’t for a minute think that these new sporting capabilities mean the little chap doesn’t have a softer side. No, from consummate athlete to caring assistant, the machine’s transition is effortless. As by attempting to make the robot into a receptionist of sorts — or even a helping hand in the office — Honda has bestowed Asimo with several new skills. Give the little fella a tray for example (albeit a specially designed one), and he can carry drinks and successfully place them on a table without spilling a drop.
Plus, if you’ve got a party going on with lots of thirsty revelers to serve, the 130cm robot can even push a cart about — although the aforementioned non-spillage probably couldn’t be guaranteed. Such a contraption even giving Asimo the potential to wheel those a bit worse for wear to the lavatory. Providing of course they have strong enough bladders to endure the leisurely paced trip.
Honda claims that the next phase of evolution will be to drastically enhance Asimo’s artificial intelligence. Greatly improving the robot’s ability to make decisions depending on the circumstances and environment.
Not that such future upgrades take anything away from the current model. And for ardent Asimo fans, the bubble-headed bot is available for lease. But with a price tag of 20 million yen a year (95,000 pound), it’s not for the faint hearted.
To watch Asimo strut his stuff in an array of short videos, click on the movement you want to see. There’s running, pushing, carrying and even exercising. Plus the rather touching walking hand in hand. Although how long it’ll be before the robots are doing the leading remains to be seen.
I am a huge fan/enthusiast/geek when it comes to Asimo! It is always great to see stuff about the guy ^^
Now i see the logic, robots with underwear like transformers/gundams are much more stricted in their movements.
I think it’s bloody creepy. Imagine it sneaking round the office at night downloading toaster porn and e-mailing shit robot jokes to other similarly creepy robots in other offices whilst we sleep. Will Smith was right. *reaches for big spanner*
Silent Scream says
Cool. I hope that we get a visit from Asimo here in Swindon (UK), seen as we have the Honda factory here.
Running fast, who cares. Machines can always outperform people physically. Currently the machine is to far to big degree radio-controlled. Instead of being able to explain to it that “you’re going to show people what you can do, run and carry things etc”, you still have to carefully pre-program it, and each phase of the show has to be scripted meticulously.
I really hope it’s AI is upgraded to a true, learning type, one that can create “connections” between things, “at will”… until a machine can turn abstract goals to practical goals, and try out how to achieve them and remember and form experiences from doing it, learning in the process, there is no true AI.
I, for one, welcome out new robot overlords! On an even less serious note, will Honda be licencing this technology to Orient Industry?
Eric at Paris Daily Photo says
I saw this on television today and it’s really cool. You almost, just almost, think it’s a little person dressed up.
Wet Panties says
I want one !!
uk hdtv says
When will they be available in the UK?
I need one of these babies, they’re cool!