Honda has just added an interactive, computer-generated 3D ASIMO model to the website for its renowned humanoid robot. The new function showcases the technologies behind the robot’s form, function, movement, and intelligence.
Honda’s primary goal in developing ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility) is to “help people, and someday assist the elderly and disabled in their homes.” The company has been developing many of the technologies used in the robot for over two decades.
ASIMO, while still in a prototype phase, has already been put to work inspiring young students to consider careers in math and science.
Earlier this year, ASIMO, joined by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, conducted the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in a performance of “Impossible Dream” as part of a special concert performance for young people.
Visitors to Disneyland can meet ASIMO at the “Innoventions” attraction (pictured at right), a 15-minute demonstration that takes place several times a day in the Honda ASIMO Theatre.
More about ASIMO
Honda says the actual ASIMO’s size was designed to help it operate comfortably within human living spaces, and to make it “people-friendly.” At 51 inches tall, it can operate light switches and door knobs, and work at tables and other work surfaces. The height of its eyes matches that of a sitting adult, making it easy to communicate with.
The robot’s 34 degrees of freedom of motion help it to walk and perform many tasks in a human-like manner. For example, ASIMO can run, walk, climb stairs, communicate, and recognize people’s voices and faces, according to Honda.
ASIMO is constructed with lightweight materials, including a magnesium alloy structure. Additionally, the robot possesses powerful computing capabilities. Here’s a summary of ASIMO’s key specifications, as listed by Honda:
- Height — 51 in (130 cm)
- Weight — 119 lbs (54 kg)
- Walking speed — 1.7 mph (2.7 km/hour)
- Running speed — 3.7 mph (6 km/hour)
- Walking cycle — adjustable cycle and stride
- Grasping force — 0.5 kg/hand (5 finger hand)
- Actuator — servomotor; harmonic speed reducer; drive unit
- Control unit — walk/operating control unit, wireless transmission unit
- Sensors — foot: 6-axis foot area sensor; torso: gyroscope and acceleration sensor
- 34 degrees of freedom (DOF) for “human” joints:
- Head — 3 DOF (rotation; up/down nodding)
- Arm — 14 DOF
- Hand — 4DOF (not counting the joints for the 5 bending fingers)
- Torso — 1 DOF
- Legs — 12 DOF
- Power — rechargeable 51.8V Lithium Ion battery
- Operating time — 1 hour
Here are a couple of videos demonstrating what ASIMO can (and can’t) do:
ASIMO muffs an attempt to climb stairs
ASIMO dances, too
3D interactive ASIMO tour
Now we can all visit ASIMO whenever we want, using the new “Inside ASIMO” feature of Honda’s ASIMO website. The site provides a wealth of ASIMO info, including downloads of ASIMO photos, screensavers, wallpapers, and even an ASIMO mp3 theme.
Check it out — after all, there’s no time like the present to get to know our new robot overlords 😉