Asimo, a humanoid robot developed by Honda Motor Company, was first introduced in 1990. With a height of 4 feet and 3 inches (130 centimeters) and weighing 119 lbs (54 kilograms), the intelligent robot features high-end technologies and can walk at a speed of 6 km/h.
Honda’s Research & Development Wako Fundamental Technical Research Center has dedicated over 20 years and spent millions of dollars to develop a human-like robot. The company is aiming to create a consumer electronics product in the near future that will help people, especially those with disability to assist them with simple chores. Honda’s long-term vision is to introduce this humanoid to the market that can be afforded by general public.
The name Asimo is an acronym which means “Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility”. According to Honda’s official statement, the humanoid’s name is not a direct reference to Isaac Asimov, a famous science-fiction writer who had outlined the three laws of robotics. In Japanese language, this is pronounced as “Ashimo” which coincidentally means “legs”.
As of 2007, the Asimo has a total of 46 model versions, each one costs about a whopping 1 million to develop.
The latest Asimo features cutting edge-technologies and innovations that help this robot to interact with human more easily.
Asimo robot features a recognition technology which can detect movements of multiple objects. With a use of a camera mounted on its head, the humanoid can approach a human and greet him/her.
Asimo can work on various voice commands, recognize gestures such as a handshake, pointing, and hand waves. Plus, the newest version is developed to improve its movement to make it appear more human-like.
Featuring the technology of environment recognition, the robot can recognize various objects and terrain and act accordingly to its environment. For example, when the robot sees a staircase, it would coordinate both of its legs to walk on this surface. When the robot is approaching a human or any moving object, it will stop and adjust its stride.
Other amazing characteristics of Asimo are distinguishing sounds technology and facial recognition which can recognize 10 different faces. When the robot registered the people’s face on its artificial memory, it can greet them with their first names.