March 31, 2014

Say hello to ASIMO

Written By Gishan Don Ranasinghe


The smartphone era will soon be coming to an end and the era of robotics dawning…

ASIMO is the world’s most advanced Artificial Intelligent Robot. Honda have been developing a humanoid robot for decades, starting their project in the 1980s. In it’s early days ASIMO was just a remote control robot arm, mainly used in car manufacturing to support human engineers during the development process. Later Honda focused on making a walking robot with the ability to simulate human-like movements. Honda then focused on the robotics systems within the build. As a result, models E1,E2 and E3 were produced with automatic wireless robot legs which were able to walk like humans. Then in 1986, Honda created P1 and P2 – Honda’s first Humanoid Robots capable of  improved walking, climbing and descending stairs.

After two decades, HONDA came up with most effective and advance Artificial Intelligent System in the world yet, the ASIMO 2000. The primary difference in this development was it’s thinking capabilities and ability to react to the environment. If you pointed out particular faces to ASIMO, it could recognise them. Even when they were in a crowd of thousands of people. If you threw something, ASIMO had the ability to dodge it. These are fundamental human behaviours you can see in young children that were successfully simulated within robotics for the first time. To get to that point, Honda have had to integrate very advanced intelligence which is testimony to how many years they have spent developing the technology. Yet, these robots were still very far from being able to interact on a human-like level in day-to-day life.

Since then Artificial Intelligence and Robotics have improved thanks to research conducted all around the world. As a result of this, in 2011 Honda managed to make ASIMO more human-like than ever before. From then on ASIMO was not simply an automatic robot, it became an autonomous robot. This meant it could actually adjust it’s behaviours by determining the actions of activities in it’s surroundings. It could also perform many tasks more efficient than humans, such as opening bottles. And it’s not over for ASIMO yet, the quest to continuously improve is on-going.

Honda is planning mass production of ASIMO. This implies that in the long term the price may also fall, making ASIMO available to the masses. People will have another trend to watch since the fascination of the Smart Phone era is ending soon, with the forthcoming of the Intelligent Systems like ASIMO. So prepare to say hello to ASIMO.