The study of human mobility has always been at the core of Honda’s research and development arm. They started developing humanoid robots back in the 1980s but it was ASIMO (an acronym for Advanced Step Innovative Mobility), launched in 2000, whose technology was so advanced it still remains the most complex and human-like robot developed today.
ASIMO can interact with people, recognising up to 10 faces and voices, answer simple questions in 4 different languages, and follow instructions. At 130cm tall and weighing approximately 54kg, this little robot can run at nearly 6.5kms per hour, arms pumping and feet leaving the ground – running like a real person. ASIMO hops on one foot, climbs stairs, kicks a soccer ball, uses its fingers to open a thermos flask and can pour a drink. It can sidestep in different directions like a rugby league player and avoid obstacles in its path.
The learnings acquired from leading edge technologies developed for ASIMO have led to technologies being adopted in other new Honda product developments. For example: VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist) is now used in every Honda vehicle; Honda Walking Assist – a device which helps people recovering from injury or illness to walk again; and the personal mobility device called Uni-Cub. All have come about through the creation of this little robot, called ASIMO.
For more about Honda ASIMO, see the official Honda ASIMO Website
* ASIMO is not available in New Zealand.