ASIMO, an acronym for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility, is a humanoid robot designed and developed by Honda. Introduced on 21 October 2000, ASIMO was designed to be a multi-functional mobile assistant. With aspirations of helping those who lack full mobility, ASIMO is frequently used in demonstrations across the world to encourage the study of science and mathematics. At 130 cm (4 ft 3 in) tall and 50 kg (110 lb), ASIMO was designed to operate in real-world environments, with the ability to walk or run on two feet at speeds of up to 6 kilometres per hour (3.7 mph). In the U.S., ASIMO was part of the Innoventions attraction at Disneyland and has been featured in a 15-minute show called "Say 'Hello' to Honda's ASIMO" since June 2005. The robot has made public appearances around the world, including the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the Miraikan Museum and Honda Collection Hall in Japan, and the Ars Electronica festival in Austria.
Honda began developing humanoid robots in the 1980s, including several prototypes that preceded ASIMO. It was the company's goal to create a walking robot. E0 was the first bipedal (two-legged) model produced as part of the Honda E series, which was an early experimental line of humanoid robots created between 1986 and 1993. This was followed by the Honda P series of robots produced from 1993 through 1997, which included the first self-regulating, humanoid walking robot with wireless movements.
The research conducted on the E- and P-series led to the creation of ASIMO. Development began at Honda's Wako Fundamental Technical Research Center in Japan in 1999 and ASIMO was unveiled in October 2000.
Differing from its predecessors, ASIMO was the first to incorporate predicted movement control, allowing for increased joint flexibility and a smoother, more human-like walking motion. Introduced in 2000, the first version of ASIMO was designed to function in a human environment, which would enable it to better assist people in real-world situations. Since then, several updated models have been produced to improve upon its original abilities of carrying out mobility assistance tasks. A new ASIMO was introduced in 2005, with an increased running speed to 3.7 mph, which is twice as fast as the original robot. ASIMO fell during an attempt to climb stairs at a presentation in Tokyo in December 2006, but then a month later, ASIMO demonstrated tasks such as kicking a football, running and walking up and down a set of steps at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In 2007, Honda updated ASIMO's intelligence technologies, enabling multiple ASIMO robots to work together in coordination. This version also introduced the ability to step aside when humans approach the robot and the ability to return to its charging unit upon sensing low battery levels.
Many of us grew up watching robots on TV and in the movies: There was Rosie, the Jetsons' robot housekeeper; Data, the android crewmember on "Star Trek: The Next Generation"; and of course, C3PO from "Star Wars." The robots being created today aren't quite in the realm of Data or C3PO, but there have been some amazing advances in their technology. Honda engineers have been busy creating the ASIMO robot for more than 20 years. In this article, we'll find out what makes ASIMO the most advanced humanoid robot to date.
The Honda Motor Company developed ASIMO, which stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility, and is the most advanced humanoid robot in the world. According to the ASIMO Web site, ASIMO is the first humanoid robot in the world that can walk independently and climb stairs.
In addition to ASIMO's ability to walk like we do, it can also understand preprogrammed gestures and spoken commands, recognize voices and faces and interface with IC Communication cards. ASIMO has arms and hands so it can do things like turn on light switches, open doors, carry objects, and push carts.
Rather than building a robot that would be another toy, Honda wanted to create a robot that would be a helper for people -- a robot to help around the house, help the elderly, or help someone confined to a wheelchair or bed. ASIMO is 4 feet 3 inches (1.3 meters) high, which is just the right height to look eye to eye with someone seated in a chair. This allows ASIMO to do the jobs it was created to do without being too big and menacing. Often referred to as looking like a "kid wearing a spacesuit," ASIMO's friendly appearance and nonthreatening size work well for the purposes Honda had in mind when creating it.