Tuesday, November 8, 2011

No. 346: Honda’s new ASIMO can communicate in sign language (November 9, 2011)

Honda announced that it had developed a new model of its human robot ASIMO. With rather improved physical ability, the new model can trot along and take optimal actions responding to his surroundings. It was released to the public at Fundamental Technology Research Center of Honda Research Institute. Besides increasing the maximum walking speed from 6 km/h to 9 km/h, it now can run, walk forward and backward, walk on the bumpy road, and hop on one foot continuously. In addition, it has the ability to unscrew a bottle cap, communicate in sign language, and make up three words simultaneously.

Although the previous model takes actions only in accordance with the built-in program, the new model can move forward at his discretion without colliding with people by analyzing their moving direction with the help of build-in multiple sensors. The company also built a test model of an arm robot that can be used for jobs in the place inaccessible to human. Using the technology accumulated in developing ASIMO, It developed this model taking advice and suggestions from Tokyo Electric Power into consideration. It is designed to do jobs inside a nuclear power plant.

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