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Robotic fuel pumps could be heading to a city near you, allowing the work involved with refueling to be handled by machines.
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.