Asimo, Honda's humanoid robot, is headed for retirement 18 years since its first creation. In a recent report, the company is said to have stopped the development of Asimo. However, the robot's legacy will continue in other Honda products.
First created in 2000, Asimo soon will be joining its predecessors, the E Series and P Series, in a museum. Asimo never saw commercialization, which is said to be one of the reasons why Honda has ended the long-running project. It was first pitched to serve the elderly, be it in retirement facilities or personal homes. Through the years however, Asimo had made several advancements in robotics.
The 4'3” robot has the ability to recognize moving objects, postures, gestures, its surrounding environment, sounds and faces. This gave Asimo the capability to interact with people. Lasers and infrared sensors allowed it to walk around obstacles, while autonomous navigation let it roam around pre-loaded destinations. Gyroscopics then helped Asimo stay on two feet and stay upright when walking or running.
Some of these technologies are currently being applied to Honda cars and motorcycles. Bits of these innovations can be seen in Honda Sensing, which recognized road obstacles and apply the brakes when needed. At the same time, the company recently released a self-standing motorcycle, again inspired by tech from Asimo.
While Asimo will be permanently taking a break, Honda isn't giving up on robotics. Honda has the U3-X and UNI-CUB, which aids mobility for the handicapped. They are also developing the High-Access Survey Robot and the Task-Performing Robot Arm, designed to be utilized at places too dangerous or not secure for people to work.
Source: Nikkei Asian Review