First unveiled back in 2000, Honda’s Asimo humanoid robot has taken literal steps, hops and jumps forward since its introduction - and the most recent incarnation made its European debut this week.
Honda Asimo: rise of the machines
This new, smarter Asimo can now recognise multiple faces and voices of people simultaneously, and can think on the move. It’s now clever enough to change course to avoid a collision with another moving object.
Rather unnervingly, Asimo can now run at 5.6mph – 1.8mph faster than its predecessor, as well as having the ability to run backwards, jump and hop continuously on one leg. Still some way off us being able to claim a 0-60mph time, though…
Perhaps most impressive though is that the all-new Asimo features dexterous multi-fingered hands, meaning it can complete complex tasks such as unscrewing the lid from a glass bottle or perhaps picking up the latest issue of CAR…
Next-gen personal mobility
Also making its European debut at the event was the Uni-Cub β, Honda’s most recent personal mobility device. It features Honda’s omni-directional driving wheel system and balance control tech gathered from the development of Asimo.
This allows the rider to move forward, back, side-to-side and diagonally by shifting body weight in the desired direction.
Satoshi Shigemi, chief engineer of Asimo, said: ‘Previous generations of Asimo have demonstrated incredible fluidity and speed of movements. The all-new Asimo takes this mobility, task-performing ability and interaction with people to the next level and moves Honda one step closer to its ultimate goal of developing a robot that can be a helper to people in need.’
Asimo made its European debut at the Asimo Studio in Brussels, home of Honda Robotic communications in Europe.
What with the company also launching its first private jet this summer, it’s another reminder that Honda is about much more than just cars, motorbikes, quad bikes and lawnmowers…