THE latest generation of Honda’s humanoid robot, ASIMO, has made its European debut in Brussels.
The all-new ASIMO, which Honda hopes in the future will be able to help people in need, incorporates several significant technological advancements over its predecessors. These include improved intelligence, enhanced hand dexterity (enabling it to open a bottle and pour a drink or express sign language), as well as the ability to run faster, run backwards, climb and decend stairs more smoothly, hop and even jump.
The advancements take Honda another step closer to creating a robot for practical use in the home environment, or wherever assistance is required.
The all-new ASIMO features a number of new capabilities that have resulted from Honda pursuing research into robots with decision-making capabilities, which allow it to adapt its behaviour to its surroundings in real time.
ASIMO can now recognise the faces and voices of multiple people speaking simultaneously.
ASIMO can stop its current action and change its behaviour to accommodate the intention of the other party. For example, ASIMO is now capable of predicting the direction a person will walk and instantly taking an alternate path to avoid a collision.
Advancement of physical capability:
ASIMO is now capable of running at 5.6 mph (1.8 mph faster than its predecessor).
ASIMO can now also run backwards, jump and hop on one leg continuously.
Improved task-performing capability:
The all-new ASIMO has highly advanced, dexterous multi-fingered hands.
These, combined with object recognition technology, allow it to perform complex tasks, such as picking up a glass bottle and twisting off the cap, or holding a soft paper cup to pour a liquid without squashing it.
ASIMO can also perform sign language (Japanese and American).
Also making its European debut today is the UNI-CUB β (beta), a new personal mobility device that features Honda’s omni-directional driving wheel system and utilises balance control technology amassed from Honda’s extensive research into bipedal humanoid robots.