I Saw Asimo the Robot!

I’m obssessed with robots.  I want a learning, interactive, thinking, automated robot to help out with chores around the house (hey — we could call it Lita!).  I don’t see that happening in my lifetime, but I did get to see the prototype Saturday of what may eventually become the kind of robot I can only dream of.  Asimo!  (He is currently performing at the Innovations building at Disneyland.)

Asimo was designed by Honda to help perform everyday activities for the disabled in the future (and possibly, eventually, for the very lazy — which is where I come in).  Not only is he cool, he’s super cute.  You can read more about him and see a picture of Asimo and the robot model which preceded him on the 21st Century Robotics page.  Or explore a variety of pages, including video, at Honda’s official Asimo page.

Here’s some cool stuff Asimo can do:

  • follow a person
  • greet a person when he or she approaches
  • recognize an indicated location and move to that location
  • shake a person’s hand when a handshake is offered
  • respond to a wave by waving back
  • stop and start to avoid a human being or other moving object which suddenly appears in its path
  • recognize immobile objects in its path and move around them
  • recognize when its name is called, and turn to face the source of the sound
  • look at the face of the person speaking, and respond
  • recognize sudden, unusual sounds, such as that of a falling object or a collision, and face in that direction
  • recognize the faces of people which have been pre-registered, addressing them by name, communicating messages to them, and guiding them
  • kick a soccer ball
  • climb and descend stairs
  • run (which is a big deal and a huge accomplishment in robotics — it took years to develope a bipedal robot that could even walk without falling over — Asimo has both feet simultaneously off the ground for a moment during each stride when he is running — amazing!)

So that was definitely the highlight of my week!!

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2 Comments

  1. It’s fascinating that a bipedal robot like this would get called Asimo when, in Asimov’s future, the fact that robots looked humanoid was seen as a real negative by the domestic robot buying public.

    Interestingly I had a nice conversation a couple of days ago with a lady who carries around her robot vacuum cleaner like a puppy even now she’s discovered it has a carrying handle; she appears to have a genuine affection for the thing. She’d never heard of Asimov.

  2. That’s funny you should mention Asimov as my husband kept calling Asimo “Asimov” and I had to keep correcting him. LOL about the robot vacuum cleaner.


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