Many of us will remember the Asimo (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility), Honda’s humanoid robot that made its debut at the turn of the century. It was publicised intensely by Honda in many of its advertisements and was a permanent feature in many of the brand’s events around the globe. In fact, the Asimo, is among the most recognised robots in the world. However, after an 18-year stint, it’s time for the Asimo to retire as the development of the robot has been halted. Since its debut in 2000, there have been seven versions of the humanoid and the latest Asimo is 1.26 metres tall and weighs 48kg. It’s powered by a 51.8 V lithium-ion battery and has an operating time of one hour. The most intriguing aspect of the Asimo was its ability to walk like a human using advanced sensors and self-balancing components. It was the first robot to walk on two legs and Honda began developing humanoid robots in the 1980s.
Over the years, the Asimo was developed further and the humanoid can even run at speeds up to 9kph, jump, open a bottle and even pour a beverage. The Asimo also can recognise moving objects, postures, gestures, sounds and faces, which enabled it to interact with humans and even shake hands. Since its public unveiling, the Honda Asimo has travelled across the globe and it even rang the bell to open trading at New York Stock Exchange and walked the red carpet on the world premiere of Hollywood flick Robots. It even greeted Prince Charles when he visited Tokyo in 2007 and even performed for him!
While it’s the end of the road from the Asimo, the humanoid will make its presence felt in future as Honda plans to utilise the learning from the robot in other applications, including autonomous vehicle operation. Adios Asimo!