The Car Geek: Honda Further Develops ASIMO Robots

The Car Geek

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Honda Further Develops ASIMO Robots

Honda is not only known about their cars but also for their advances in robotics. The automaker is expanding their development of robots called ASIMO. The latest technology that the automaker has developed allows robots to act without human input and act in a way that they would not interrupt services in an office.

The Auto Channel reported that the Japanese automaker has developed a technology which allows humanoid robots to either step back and yield right of way for other robots or humans or just continue walking. This means that two or more humanoid robots will be able t o work together perfectly in any environment. The automaker also developed a technology which makes it easier for ASIMO robots to carry tray and push carts. The new technology also allows these robots to recharge themselves when their battery level reached a preset level. These robots are also made to help each other out. So, if a robot is charging, other robots can take over that robot's task.

Two ASIMOs will be tested staring today at the second floor lobby of the automaker's Aoyama, Japan headquarters. In a nutshell, here's what Honda added to the already advanced ASIMO humanoid robot:

  1. New function to work together In situations where more than one ASIMO works together, information regarding the current status of each ASIMO will be shared constantly among the multiple networked ASIMOs in order to share tasks in the most efficient manner. More precisely, first, the distance between the current position of each ASIMO and the site where each task needs to be performed will be calculated. Then, taking remaining battery levels into consideration, the most time efficient way to share tasks among the multiple ASIMOs will be determined. Based on this decision, each ASIMO autonomously performs its assigned tasks.
  2. New function to avoid oncoming people ASIMO identifies oncoming people through its eye camera, calculates traveling direction and speed, predicts forthcoming movements of oncoming people, and chooses the most appropriate path so that it will not block the movement of others. When there is not enough space, ASIMO will step back and yield the right-of-way.
  3. New autonomous battery charging function A new battery charging station was developed for ASIMO's autonomous recharging. When the remaining battery level falls below a certain level, ASIMO will automatically identify and walk to the closest available battery charging station and re-charge while standing.

With those new technologies and functions, these humanoid robots have become more advanced that simple auto parts such as Nissan Altima parts.