ASIMO is Dead, Long Live ASIMO: Honda Shows Off Its Latest Robotic Humanoid

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Since its unveiling in 2000, Honda Robotics’ ASIMO has wowed audiences with its incredible dexterity and mobility. In some sense, it’s been the gold standard of humanoid robotics, showing what you can do with some hard work and a deep pocketbook. After over a decade, the hard working robot is now seeing a total overhaul and expanded capabilities.

In this latest iteration of the cute robot, ASIMO has shed some 13 pounds, down to a respectable 106 pounds.The outer casing for the robot has been streamlined giving it a sleeker, more modern appearance, but has retained the child-like stature. The little bot has also picked up speed, now capable of running at 5.6 mph, nearly 2 mph faster than before. It can also run bakwards, hop on one foot, better handle uneven terrain, and has gained 23 degrees of freedom for movement coming to a total of 57.

Many of these upgrades are thanks to an improved stabilization capabilities. For instance, the new ASIMO can jump in place continuously without falling. It can also take a quick step to the side to correct itself when it begins to fall — not unlike BigDog. Also like that famous, headless, canine robot, ASIMO has developed an incredible if very disconcertingly natural gait.

On the more sensitive side of things, ASIMO’s hands now have independent controls for each finger and far greater dexterity than before. It also has a light touch, and can accurately apply the pressure needed to move an object without crushing it or knocking it over. To do so, the robot also takes advantage of multiple sensor inputs — in the case of ASIMO’s hands, tactile and visual inputs — to give it better control and navigate its environment better than ever before.

As usual, it’s far more compelling to see ASIMO in action. Watch, friends, and be amazed.

(via IEEE Spectrum)

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