Hardware & Infrastructure
News
12/13/2005
01:35 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Honda Turns Asimo Robot Into Speedy Errand Assistant

Asimo can now speed across the floor at almost 4 miles per hour, carry objects, and automatically perform the tasks of a receptionist, information guide, or delivery person.

Honda has dipped into its toolbox to upgrade its Asimo robot to run errands faster and interact more effectively with people.

Asimo, the walking humanoid robot that danced with children on BBC's Blue Peter children's show, can now hold hands, carry objects and automatically perform the tasks of a receptionist, information guide, or delivery person.

The improved Asimo, unveiled Tuesday, can also run twice as fast as its previous incarnation, covering 3.72 miles per hour.

Asimo can already recognize surrounding environments with visual sensors, a floor surface sensor, an ultrasonic senor, an eye camera, a force (kinesthetic) sensor and a new IC Tele-interaction Communication Card. The force sensor allows the ASIMO to hold hands and synchronize movements with people.

The communication card has an optical communication function so Asimo can locate and identify the person wearing the card. The kinesthetic senor, on Asimo's wrists, allows the robot to push a cart, detect obstructions and slow down or change directions accordingly.

Asimo stands just over four feet tall and weights almost 120 pounds. It can turn on the spot, run in a circle, handle corners while running, greet passersby, and recognize names and languages.

The robot displays new technological achievements in posture control, image and voice recognition, collision anticipation and avoidance. Honda plans to apply the technologies to car safety and other developments.

The improvements are also part of a larger plan to build a truly useful robot with high-level intelligence and physical capabilities. Honda plans to continue research, shifting focus to intelligence capabilities until Asimo can make judgments based on various situations.

Honda will begin operating the new Asimo in spring 2006 at the Honda Wako Building in Japan. The new Asimo will eventually be leased out.

Fujitsu has a robot named enon, which can perform several of the same functions as Asimo. Enon lacks feet, legs and the human shape that makes ASIMO look somewhat like a child in a spacesuit.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
InformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business really views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. Our results suggest IT leaders should worry less about whether they're getting enough resources and more about the relationships they have with business unit peers.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014
InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A roundup of the top stories and trends on InformationWeek.com
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.