Next gen Honda ASIMO robot is even more human-like

new asimo robotFancy having your own robot personal assistant which is able to act interact in an almost human way? Well, that day has just got a whole lot closer thanks to the latest version of ASIMO from Honda.

Honda has just unveiled a new-and-improved ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility) robot in Belgium. The cute humanoid robot has been under continual development for more than a decade by the Japanese company.

Looking back over its development the new ASIMO has come along in leaps and bounds. Literally.

asimo historyA few examples of its latest updates include enhanced intelligence and hand dexterity as well as the ability to run faster, hop, and jump more smoothly. ASIMO can even run backwards and climb and descend stairs without any problem.

The clever bot’s improved hand dexterity means that it can now open a bottle (some complex twisting movements requiring great coordination there), pouring a drink without crushing the paper cup its holding, and even communicate using American and Japanese sign language. ASIMO can talk too but not having any lips makes lipreading a bit tricky for those with impaired hearing.

As for those enhanced intelligence capabilities, ASIMO can recognise the faces and voices of up to three people speaking simultaneously and respond accordingly. Honda says that the robot can also “stop its current action and change its behaviour to accommodate the intention of the other party”.

That sounds quite innocent but that actually means that ASIMO can accurately predict what you’ll do next. For instance, it can figure out the direction a person will walk and instantly take a different path to avoid running into that person. I know some people who can’t do that during the daily commute.

All-NewASIMOOnLocationOther physical feats range from running 5.6 miles per hour (or 9 kilometers per hour) and hopping around on one leg without falling over.

The advancements take Honda another step closer to creating a robot for practical use in the home environment,” explained Honda in a press release. “ASIMO features a number of new capabilities that have resulted from Honda pursuing research into robots with decision-making capabilities.

I find ASIMO both amazing and endearing, but will that be the downfall of human beings? Personally, I think ASIMO would be great in hospitals and other places where us meatbags could do with some help.

Watch this space and enjoy the video of ASIMO playfully going through its paces.

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