With the rapidly increasing population of humans, the sense of humanity is diminishing at the same rate. Following the Western point of view, everyone there is relishing his own life instead of serving humanity. So ultimately, the humans had to rely on robots, rather humanoid robots. The scientists started to contemplate over such incredible challenges a long time ago. The advancement of Honda, the leading Japanese company in robotics, is fairly good in this regard. They started to develop humanoid robots in the 1980s. Creation of walking robot was the main goal of the company, which not only could adapt and interact in human situations but also could improve the quality of life.
In 1986, Honda engineers set out to create a walking robot. Early models were designated as E series (E1, E2, and E3), in which the main focus was on developing limbs that could simulate the walk of human. The developed robots, introduced right after early models of E series were reckoned as E4, E5, and E6. They were focused on walk stabilization and stair climbing. Later on, a head, body and arms were incorporated to the robots in order to improve balance and add functionality. Honda developed first rather rugged humanoid robot, P1 that stood approximately 6’ 2” high and weighed about 175 Kg. Afterwards, P2 was introduced which instilled more friendly design, improved walking, stair climbing/descending, and wireless automatic movements. The P3, followed by P2, was even more compact, standing 5’ 2” tall and weighing 130 Kg.
After more than two decades of persistent study, research, trial and error, Honda engineers achieved their dream of creating an advanced humanoid robot and succeeded to make human prototype, named ASIMO. The dream of the scientists to design a robot that can imitate the complexities of human motion, and genuinely help people, was almost achieved by the creation of this splendid creature in 2000.
ASIMO, no doubt, is an amazing product of HONDA Company that depicts the advancement of science and technology along with the human service. It can be used in any field of life, revolutionizing the human carelessness, irresponsibility and laziness. The most advanced ASIMO (of 2014) is of approximate height 4’3” and weighs almost 50 Kg that is quite similar to an adult. The height is designed to extend its functionality in offices as well as in homes in order to perform various chores of an office-boy or a maid.
ASIMO can run, walk on uneven slopes and surfaces, turn smoothly, climb stairs, and reach for and grasp objects. Although in initial phases, ASIMO failed to ascend stairs and tumbled down in an exhibition, but in later versions, the problem was fixed. Now, the walking speed of ASIMO is about 2.7kph, while the running speed is 7 kph. It can maintain its balance even due to heavy push to certain degrees but may fall when the force exceeds to certain limit but due to light weight, the damage is minimal. It can move with total 57 degrees of freedom in head, arms, hands, hips and legs movements.
ASIMO can also comprehend and respond to simple voice commands. It can recognize and speak both the languages, English and Japanese. ASIMO also has the ability of face recognition of selected group of individuals. Using its camera eyes, ASIMO can map its environment and register stationary objects. ASIMO can also avoid moving obstacles as it moves through its environment. The power source of the robot is a Li-Ion battery of 51.6V that can energize robot in fully working conditions (running/walking) for 1hour when fully charged. While the charging time is 3 hours.
ASIMO, due to its appearance and features, has become popular in no time. ASIMO`s public appearances were revealed right after it was introduced. The robot has traveled across the globe, and has performed in front of international audience. ASIMO made its first public appearance in the United States, in 2002, when it rang the bell to start trade sessions for the New York Stock Exchange. Later on, ASIMO toured science museums and educational institutes in America as an educational tourist to encourage the students to study science through a live show that demonstrated ASIMO’s abilities. In June 2005, ASIMO was featured in a show called “Say ‘Hello’ to Honda’s ASIMO” at Disneyland’s Innovations attraction. In a demonstration at Honda’s Tokyo headquarters in 2007, the company demonstrated multiple ASIMO robots to work together. The demonstration showed the robot’s ability to work with another ASIMO, recognize when to recharge its battery and perform new tasks, such as carrying a tray and pushing a cart.
Although ASIMO is inculcated with number of human qualities but still it is not part of any human service yet. The company has not expressed its intention to present it for sale. They are still working on its advancement plans to make it better to bring it in parallel to humans.
• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASIMO (Last retrieved on 3-02-2015)
• http://asimo.honda.com/asimo-history/ (Last retrieved on 3-02-2015)
• http://asimo.honda.com/inside-asimo/ (Last retrieved on 3-02-2015)
• http://asimo.honda.com/asimo-specs/ (Last retrieved on 3-02-2015)
• http://asimo.honda.com/innovations/ (Last retrieved on 3-02-2015)
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