ASIMO humanoid robot is free to make autonomous moves

The latest incarnation of the ASIMO humanoid robot has been unveiled by Honda this week.

The latest ASIMO is equipped with what is claimed to be the world’s first autonomous behaviour-control technology, which gives the robot the freedom to move without being controlled by an operator.

In a statement, Honda said modifications to ASIMO now allow the robot to make decisions that determine its behaviour depending on the surroundings it is in.

It does this by evaluating inputs from a number of sensors and adjusting its behaviour in relation to other activity going on around it. This capability is likely to bring ASIMO closer to practical use in an office or a public space as it is designed to avoid collisions.

Moreover, coordination between visual and auditory sensors enables ASIMO to simultaneously recognise a face and voice, enabling ASIMO to recognise the voices of a number of people speaking simultaneously.

Six kilograms lighter than the previous model, the latest version is reportedly capable of adapting to different walking surfaces and can walk over an uneven surface while maintaining a stable posture.

Modifications to its hands include a tactile sensor and a force sensor embedded on the palm and in each finger, which controls each finger independently.

Combined with object-recognition technology based on visual and tactile senses, this multi-fingered hand enables ASIMO to perform tasks such as picking up a bottle and removing its cap.