August 30, 2007 A new version of Honda’s popular humanoid robot, ASIMO, is now appearing in its very own stage show at Disneyland in California. Twenty years in the making, the first generation ASIMO has undergone numerous improvements and has even appeared as a spokesperson for Honda , featuring in a series of television advertisements in the UK.
The latest enhancements to ASIMO (which is short for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility) include the ability to run at four miles per hour and increased artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities for improved human interaction. The advanced AI capabilities allow this latest version ASIMO to interact with a live host in a 15-minute science show at the Honda ASIMO Theater inside the Innoventions attraction. Innoventions is located in Tomorrowland at the Disneyland park and offers hands-on experience of current technologies.
Opened in 2005, the Honda ASIMO Theatre is the only permanent installation of ASIMO and the stage show, Say 'Hello' to Honda's ASIMO takes place several times each day. Visitors to Disneyland gain insight into the not-too-distant future when humanoid robots will assist humans in their homes. The demonstration shows how ASIMO would operate in a modern home environment by using all of its unique technological capabilities.
ASIMO is truly a feat of robotic design with the ability to run, walk, climb stairs and take direction from a person. And this is one busy robot. In addition to the TV advertising campaign, ASIMO has attended such as activities as the launch of a Honda Science Scholarship at the Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia and the 100th Anniversary celebrations of the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy races.
Dubbed, the “world’s most advanced humanoid robot”, ASIMO is still in development and testing phase and not yet ready for commercial release. Its current role is largely that of promoter and educator. Honda demonstrates ASIMO around the world to encourage and inspire young students to study the sciences. And for the future? It is anticipated that ASIMO will act as a servile companion to those most in need of physical assistance. It might also perform dangerous tasks such as fighting fires or cleaning up toxic spills, in place of humans that currently undertake these duties.