Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Why is ASIMO ground braking?

Here are the specs:

1. Height: 130 centimeters (4 feet 3 inches)
2. Weight: 48 kilograms (106 pounds), decreased 6 kg from previous model
3. Degrees of freedom: 57 DOF total, increase of 23 DOF from previous model
4. Running speed: 9 km/h (5.6 mph), compared to 6 km/h for previous model

High level balancing: ASIMO was capable of balancing itself, but the new version can survive a significantly more aggressive push by quickly taking a stabilizing step forward or backward, just like a human would. All this additional agility also enables ASIMO to walk over uneven surfaces without any trouble.

New hands: ASIMO's hands are dexterous enough (with independent finger control) to perform sign language (the hand gesture above doesn't mean ASIMO likes heavy metal -- it's Japanese sign language for "I love you"). By combining tactile and visual sensors, ASIMO can recognize objects and handle them appropriately, such as taking caps off of bottles and pouring liquid into paper cups without crushing them.

Sensor integration: The new ASIMO can integrate information from multiple sensors and estimate how its surrounding environment is changing. For example, it can combine both short and long range sensor data to better track and predict the motion of multiple humans, and it uses visual and auditory input to perform voice recognition in noisy and crowded environments.

Improved autonomy: ASIMO is now able to use sensor inputs, intelligent prediction, and past experience to autonomously determine what it should do without direct operator intervention. The goal here is to let ASIMO work alongside puny humans without needing continuous supervision, and ASIMO is able to walk around without bumping into anyone, politely stepping aside if it classifies you as a collision risk.

By the way, ASIMO comes in several colors!