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Japan Robotics Upgrades Hardware

New, More Autonomous Asimo Robot Unveiled By Honda 62

An anonymous reader writes "Honda has just unveiled a new, upgraded version of its famous humanoid robot, Asimo. Its appearance didn't change much, but the new robot is lighter, faster, and stronger. It can walk on uneven surfaces, run backwards, and even jump on one foot. The new Asimo also has more dexterous hands and better image and voice recognition to interact with people. Honda's big push is clearly in the direction of making Asimo more autonomous, and useful, in human environments."
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New, More Autonomous Asimo Robot Unveiled By Honda

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  • I want to see Asimo riding atop an Alpha Dog. Just preferably, not towards me with a "kill all humans" sign.
    • Re:Combo (Score:5, Insightful)

      by peragrin ( 659227 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @06:30PM (#37991958)

      I would rather see Asimo and alpha dog walking into a highly dangerous area and doing the work that man needs to do but really can't safely.

      • Alpha dog is old news, and so is asimo.
        PETMAN is where its at []

      • I am totally ready to buy -- even if it's *quite* expensive -- when I can buy a dependable robot in humanoid form that does all our housework. Wash (or load and start) the dishes, sweep/vacuum the floors, wash windows, do the laundry, sort and put away when clean, change the bedding and make the bed, clean the sinks, toilets, shower and tub, dust, polish the woodwork, bring coffee, cook and serve dinner, clean up afterwards, feed and water the cat, clean the catbox, be able to put away CDs and DVDs in alpha

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Agreed. Sign me up.

          But, seriously, such a device even as a research prototype is unfortunately several years if not decades away. Part of the problem is hardware (not the part doing the computation but the motors, etc.), but robotics hardware is far ahead of robotics software at the moment. (For a clear view of this, one of my friends who does robotics research pointed out that telepresence surgery---which requires rather good dexterity from the robot hand---works but no one is even seriously suggesting an

          • by fyngyrz ( 762201 )

            can be available 24/7 (excepting power issues, but if it's always inside it can probably be plugged in most of the time)

            Ultracaps: 1/10th the power of batteries, so 1/10th the run time, but... instant recharge, and effectively unlimited numbers of them. So the robot can drop a hand on a charge plate for about one second, then work for say, ten or twenty minutes. No need for it to have an extended run time if charging isn't a big issue.

            As for the rest, yes, exactly.

        • Asimo seems to blindly follow pre-programmed sequences of actions, like a clockwork mechanism rather than an adaptive system. This impresses me more.
      • well... Asimo and SIRI combined might give us a real head-start to human interfacing autonomous robots. It would have to do more than follow you around and perform phone tricks and web searches on command, but as a personal assistant?????? .... Apple should outright BUY honda. Damn I really don't want to have to buy Apple stock at it's present value, but I've always indicated to my children that if you broad-buy robotic company stock, you'll eventually wind up millionaires.
    • ...this is the worst you'd have to worry about: []

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      Don't worry, there won't be a sign.

  • New, Less Autonomous Honda Corporation Unveiled by Asimo!
    • by 517714 ( 762276 )
      I'll wait for version five - predictably, the AsimoV. I figure by then it will truly be autonomous.
  • by guybrush3pwood ( 1579937 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @06:05PM (#37991580) Homepage
    It looks like some kid with a costume.
  • I have no idea what I'd do with it, but I want one. If anyone was looking for a Christmas gift idea for me, look no further.

  • 9 kph running speed (Score:5, Informative)

    by CubicleView ( 910143 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @06:13PM (#37991700) Journal
    I'm genuinely impressed, that's faster than a lot of people are able to jog at.
    • that's faster than a lot of people are able to jog at.

      Great, so when it hits a bug and I need to reboot it I'll have to get in the car if I want to catch it.

    • by gajop ( 1285284 )
      Yeah, sure, it is indeed fast, but it does feel like the aim Asimo has is to achieve all goals and solve all problems modern of modern AI and robotics. Focusing on complex terrain walking, jumping, object manipulation, image and voice recognition and probably many more things not seen in the video is too much. And the problem of doing so many things in once is that once you fail one thing, the whole robot becomes of variable usability - if it fails walking, trips and falls, it will be of little use to peopl
      • I don’t fully agree with you. The aim is to create a humanoid robot, and that goal necessitates the solving of several problems of modern AI. This will take a long time (and ASIMO may not be the platform to do it), but long before then, much of what they learn in the process will find its way into practical products.
  • welcome just kidding that was so old a very long time ago...
  • It can even (Score:4, Funny)

    by oodaloop ( 1229816 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @06:22PM (#37991824)
    If you look at the pics in TFA, it seems Asimo can also mix drinks, throw up the horns, and hit on multiple chicks at once.
  • South Park already did this with Awesome-o!

    Evidence: Awesome-O []
  • Now how will we guarantee that it doesn't injure humans? I don't care that it may, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm; that would be like having no robot.

    What I want to see is a robot design that won't go berserk if its control program throws an exception, making it move its powerful arms uncontrolled or fail to recognize were its fellow humans are located.

    • I think the safest way to assure it doesn't harm humans is to make it light, small and not very strong like Asimo. There's no need to have an industrial strength robot doing the dishes or cleaning the house. If it can lift 10kg (a bucket of water) it's powerful enough for most household tasks and too feeble to do much damage even to children.
      • +1 lateral thinking. I must say that I had in mind some basic behavioral rule that would also prevent killer robots in the army, like the First Law did.

  • Asimo is cool... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BattleApple ( 956701 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @06:35PM (#37992014)
    but I was hoping this upgrade would include "not walking like it's trying to suppress an explosive diarrhea incident".
    That would be my first priority.
  • Why is it that a company that can build something cool like that is the same one that says it'd take at least 6 freakin' weeks to build me a new Civic? That was AFTER the dealer tried to string me along of course. (Didn't work - I bought a Nissan instead.)

    Dear goodness I hope if/when they ever start mass-producing these that buying one isn't like buying a car. "Sorry we don't have that model and colour in stock right now but we do have the deluxe model Asimo with Chrome finishing. Oh and be sure to get

  • "Jumping on one foot" is normally called "hopping".
  • Seriously, I looked on the website but couldn't find out how much an Asimo would cost... I mean, if there's just the one then that makes sense, but Honda is [i]Honda[/i]. It's not like they don't have any experience mass producing advanced machinery and electronics on some kind of assembly line.

    So how can I buy one? Not for personal use of course, it would be a corporate expense... which we would use.. somehow for something.

  • If it was really autonomous, wouldn't it unveil itself?
  • "...making Asimo more autonomous, and useful, in human environments." So long as we're still useful in robotic environments.

  • I can't help but recall the immortal words of Karl Pilkington on seeing the Asimo: "It walks like it's shit itself.".

I am more bored than you could ever possibly be. Go back to work.