Honda Motor Co. introduced the second-generation Asimo today. While walking and obstacle avoidance were considered highlights of the previous model, the new Asimo includes many advancements that science fiction has groomed us to expect from humanoid robots. The five-year old Asimo can now handle simple office tasks like greeting visitors and showing them to meeting areas, walking with a tray of drinks, and pushing a 10 kg cart. The new model is even capable of running at speeds of up to 3.7 mph.
In addition to adding additional joints and increasing its range of motion, Honda continues to optimize the Asimo’s sensor arrays and vision and speech recognition algorithms. Honda, who is best known for being Japan’s third-largest automaker, hopes to utilize Asimo’s technology in their automotive manufacturing plants. Asimo himself will go to work in their Wako, Japan R&D facility early next year.