Honda’s Asimo Robot Show’s Off Its “People Skills” At Tokyo’s National Museum This Month

Honda’s robot ASIMO, the world’s first robot to “make decisions” and continue moving without being controlled by an operator, will be giving a demonstration showing its ability to explain its features while interacting with people, at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo, Japan this month.

Working towards practical use of ASIMO to communicate with people, the testing will be conducted with the cooperation of the National Museum (known as “Miraikan”).

In the demonstration testing, ASIMO will autonomously explain its own features to guests visiting the Miraikan. The robot will also communicate interactively by asking people questions they can respond to by a show of hands, gauging their intention and then explaining things in an easy-to-understand manner, including through use of gestures.

ASIMO recognises the reactions of up to several dozen people by sensing their behaviour using a network of sensors. Based on recognising people’s reactions, ASIMO autonomously determines how to explain things, by making continuous judgments on its own, requiring no sequential commands from an operator.

Through this demonstration testing, Honda will verify the value of ASIMO as a robot that can autonomously explain things to people through a variety of pre-loaded explanations, leveraging the advantage of the robot’s memory capability, by using multiple sensors to gauge the requirements of its audience and then explaining things in an easy-to-understand manner.

Honda will gather various data related to ASIMO’s interactive communication with people in real-world conditions, where the actions of people and the surrounding environment are continuously changing, and feed the data back to inform future R&D activities.

Honda is pursuing its work on humanoid robots with the goal of developing robots that are useful to people and society, in two separate directions – one being “communication robots” represented by ASIMO which coexist with and assist people, and the other being “working robots” which perform tasks on behalf of people in environments that are not accessible to people.