Honda builds some of the top vehicles on the road today, just like the Honda Accord, but this Japanese auto maker also produces a very famous robot: ASIMO.
This 2000 model is not a vehicle or even available at Big Island Honda - Hilo, Hawaii, but Honda continues to push forward and improve on the robot's design. At the Honda Robotic research facility in Tokyo last week, ASIMO showed off its faster reflexes and quicker running ability. The robot was programmed to play a round of soccer.
Honda President Takanobu Ito feels that robots like ASIMO are important for technology advancements. Development on technologies used in robotics will eventually be utilized for human transportation safety. This robot can also help in the event of a natural disaster, like the tsunami that hit Japan.
"The mechanical arm can open and close valves at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, which went into meltdown after the March tsunami, according to Honda. The automaker is working with the utility behind the problem plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co., to try to meet demands to bring the plant under control," according to one report.1
Ito added that "the first idea was to send in Asimo to help out, but that was not possible because the robot cannot maneuver in rubble, and its delicate computer parts would malfunction in radiation."2
It can also jog faster than it did in 2005, as ASIMO runs up to 5.6 mph, much faster than its original 3.7 mph. Oh and ASIMO can speak, saying sentences such as 'Hello, my name is Asimo.'