Meet Asimo—The Most Advanced Humanoid Robot We've Seen Yet
Pointing out the (sometimes hilarious) flaws in robots is kind of a defensive mechanism for us humans. Most of us have come to terms, on some level, with a future where robots are increasingly integrated into society (see Spike Jonze‘s touching short film I’m Here for one variant of what that future might look like). In no time at all, they’ll be driving our busses, walking our dogs, working the fast food counter, and generally competing with us for jobs and then… you’ve heard of the prophesied robot takeover, right? Well, you know how the story goes.
But for now, we can just enjoy watching all the prototypes on the rise and marvel at how life-like and magical they are, though still slightly awkward in their pre-programmed fumblings. Take for instance, the recent developments in Honda’s Asimo, a humanoid that was just unveiled in Tokyo earlier today.
The four-foot tall, 105-pound robot—Honda’s thinest, fastest and “most intelligent” version yet—was shown pouring drinks and kicking soccer balls (potential babysitting qualities, perhaps), hopping on one or both legs and demonstrating the ability to stop a task to do something else before resuming the original task.
With its increased “bodily” joints—now 57, up from 34 in older models—Asimo can now run up to 5.5 miles per hour (compared to 3.7 mph in previous versions). Cognitively, Asimo can recognize different voices and faces in order to track conversations between multiple people, and on the spacial front, can avoid potential collisions by “predicting” the direction someone is moving.
We think its white exterior is a bit dull and clinical (someone needs to start making fashionable clothes for robots), and its hyper-bent knee posture is a bit awkward, but regardless, we’d be delighted to see Asimo serving up drinks at our next dinner party or playing a game of soccer at the park (maybe versus a troupe of robo-dogs).
Do you think the robot takeover is nigh? Check out Asimo in action below…
Asimo pouring drinks
Asimo demonstrating its new physical abilities