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YUMMY. HICK!!  I love a martini or 5.

 

 

 

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The latest generation of Honda’s humanoid robot ASIMO, was unveiled at the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show in November.

Guests were blown away when ASIMO picked up a bottle, unscrewed the lid and poured a drink for Takanobu Ito, Honda Motor President and CEO.

The new ASIMO has evolved from an ‘automatic machine’ to an ‘autonomous machine’ with the decision-making capability to determine its behaviour in concert with its surroundings. At 130cm high and weighing 48kg (6 less than the previous model) ASIMO can now walk, run forwards and backwards, jump, hop on one leg, kick a ball, and continue moving without the control of an operator. The speedy robot can now run at 9km/h. Its strengthened legs allow an expanded range of movements and can maintain a stable posture whilst walking over uneven surfaces.

Honda’s new advanced intelligence system allows ASIMO to evaluate input from multiple sensors that are equivalent to the visual, auditory and tactile senses of a human. On receiving sensory input, ASIMO assesses the surrounding environment and determines an appropriate corresponding behavior. ASIMO can predict the direction a person will walk within the next few seconds based on information from pre-set space sensors, and can quickly calculate an alternative direction to take in order to avoid collision. Co-ordination between the robot’s auditory and visual sensors enable it to simultaneously recognise a face and voice, and distinguish between the voices of several people who are speaking at the same time. The robot has taken drink orders from three people speaking at the same time, then delivered their beverages.

ASIMO’s compact multi-fingered hands have a tactile and force sensor imbedded on the palm and in each finger. This gives dexterity to hold a soft paper cup without squishing it and form various expressions in sign language.  It can operate for 40 minutes before needing to recharge.

The universally loved robot has come a long way since the first model was unveiled in 2000, now operating with 57 degrees of freedom. In 2000 ASIMO could walk, in 2002 had voice and image recognition, in 2004 began to run, in 2005 could deliver objects, in 2007 could operate in collaboration with other ASIMOs, and in 2011 can determine its own behaviour.

Honda has established a new name, ‘Honda Robotics’ and logo to represent all of their robot technologies and product applications created through the research and development of humanoid robots. Their first line of humanoid robots were produced in the 1980s.

Honda Robotics envisage a world in which robots aid the sick and elderly by working in hospitals or assisting with housework in homes.

Other developments on display at the Tokyo Motor Show included an experimental model of a task-performing robot arm, designed to assist in disaster areas that are deemed unsafe for people to work.

*Honda internal research (as of November 8, 2011)