ASIMO learns new tricks

Hondahas unveiled a series of technologies that will enable their ASIMO robot to work autonomously with people and other ASIMOs.

Honda hope new functions, such as the ability to automatically charge its battery and new intelligence technologies which allow it to perform tasks such as carry a tray or push a trolley, will bring them closer to a robot that can interact in a real world environment.

Other new technologies include the ability for multiple ASIMOs to work together in a team and share tasks. Working as a team the multiple robots will share information over a network and, taking into account battery power and distance to the task, will determine the most efficient way to share tasks between them.

ASIMO robots are able to avoid obstructions by using eye cameras to identify obstacles and predict how oncoming people will move. It does this by calculating travelling direction and speed of the person coming towards it. It can then step back and yield the right of way or carry on moving accordingly so it will not block the movement of others.

To test these new technologies, ASIMO robots will act as hosts to visitors on the second floor lobby of Honda’s Aoyama headquarters from three to five pm on weekdays until January 31. During this period Honda will study the robots’ ability to guide visitors, deliver refreshments and handle working in a real world environment.

ASIMO, which stands for Advanced Step in Innovative MObility, is Honda’s humanoid robot and resembles an astronaut wearing a backpack. The 4’3” figure can walk at speeds up to 3.7mph.

The latest ASIMO was introduced in 2005 with advanced physical and intelligence capabilities and Honda has since focused it’s work on creating more intelligence technologies.

Click here to view a selection of video clips showing ASIMO in action.