Way back in 2000, after 14 years of research, ASIMO was born 31 October. It might have been another three years before Honda's humanoid robot was unveiled to the public, but to celebrate the landmark date ten years on, Honda has launched a website dedicated to the robot and all it has achieved over the past decade.
Not heard of ASIMO? The initials stand for Advanced Step in Innovation Mobility. The idea is that it can perform tasks humans can't, making our lives easier; Honda hopes in the future ASIMO-style robots could fight fires and clear toxic spills, as well as doing the more mundane stuff like simple household tasks.
How has ASIMO changed over the last decade?
ASIMO is much more advanced then the version that lit up YouTube when it tripped over attempting to demonstrate its new stair-climbing ability. It can now walk on uneven surfaces, dance, reach for objects, react to faces and comprehend simple vocal commands. But we'll let you into a secret – there is more than one ASIMO, in fact, there are loads of the little buggers across the world, all able to perform different tasks.
The new, dedicated website celebrates the past ten years of ASIMO's life, with videos and photographs, and a new smartphone app (available to download from November 2010) will allow users to interact with a virtual version of the robot. So while kids the world over might be celebrating Halloween with a round of 'trick or treat', 31 October will mean much more to Honda's skillful engineers.
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