While Honda is most well known in the world for its automobiles, the company’s portfolio expands well beyond just vehicles. The ASIMO robot has evolved over the years, becoming a noticeable icon for the brand, and Honda is now using some of its technology to aid seniors whose walking ability has declined.
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Recently AutoGuide had the chance to visit the Honda Collection Hall at the company’s Motegi race track facility. The museum holds more than just motorcycles and cars, however, with an entire section dedicate to the brand’s humanoid robot.
Honda’s latest updates to the robot include autonomous movement as well as fully functioning hands, but it wasn’t always that way, with ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative MObility) starting life as the Eo. That robot was simply a pair of legs, which first took steps in 1986.
This E-Series of robots then became the P-Series, with some particularly frightening examples below. Perhaps the most alarming (and one that would make us pass on the job of night security at the Honda Collection Hall) is the massive 6’3″ box-headed machine, which tips the scales at 386 lbs. It absolutely dwarfs the current model at 4’3″ and just 119 lbs.
Browse through the gallery of ASIMO development below and be sure to check out our Honda Collection Hall gallery of cars here.
GALLERY: ASIMO Development
Honda has just unveiled the latest version of its ASIMO humanoid robot, with impressive updates that allow the machine to operate autonomously, walk on uneven surfaces and perform more human functions.
Thanks to new “advanced intelligence capability”ASIMO can now take in information about the world around it, including the movements of other people, and then predict changes. As a result it can now act autonomously, moving without the aid of an operator. In addition, ASIMO now has advanced face and voice recognition so it knows who it is talking to.
Updates to ASIMO’s legs with more range and added strength now allow it to walk on uneven surfaces while a new multi-fingered hand allows for “object recognition technology” to know what it is touching, while performing complex tasks like opening a bottle or holding a paper cup gently enough so as not to crush it. ASIMO’s new hands also allow the machine to perform sign language.
Honda continues to push forward with its advancements in humanoid robotic technology and is committed to the field, even establishing a new department called Honda Robotics.
It sounds like the plot to a bad science fiction movie. ASIMO, Honda‘s humanoid robot, is sent into the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plan in Japan to help out where human’s can’t, only to be transformed by Plutonium into a killing machine.
But don’t worry says Honda, it’s not going to happen. Despite a story by Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun indicating as much (minus our editorialized outcome), Honda has officially commented that any such plans are merely, “speculation.”
The piece in the Asahi paper went into detail, indicating that the 4-foot, 3-inch robot’s upper body would be upgraded to handle the task, while it’s feet could be replaced with wheels or caterpillar tracks, to better move about in the debris strewn
nuclear plant, which continues to leak radiation.
“Although Honda hopes that ASIMO will someday be a helper to people, at this point the robot is solely a research and design project,” said US Honda spokeswoman Lauren Ebner.