Honda has updated the official ASIMO website to celebrate the robot’s 10th anniversary with some meager content that leaves much to be desired. Definitely check out “A Mate Walking Together”, the short story on Masato Hirose, who can be considered ASIMO’s “father”. Then there’s the extremely disappointing 10th Anniversary video that tries to summarize 24 years of robotics R&D in 2 minutes, comprised entirely of old clips. I was hoping there would be a lot more to it than that, more in line with the excellent “Dream the Impossible” documentaries you can watch on the official Honda YouTube channel. They should really do a whole series on Honda’s robots. It seems the whole program has come to something of a standstill due to a general lack of artificial intelligence capable of matching ASIMO’s mechanical capabilities. From the press release:
Honda is now focusing its research on the development of intelligence as well as improving the understanding about the ideal interaction and relationship between people and humanoid robots.
It must be something of a bittersweet victory for Honda that ASIMO is so ahead of the curve. It’s unknown just how many ASIMOs have been built, but I think it’s high time they dusted off those that are currently housed in museum exhibits and loan them to universities around the world to tackle the difficult problems. To their credit they already have some partnerships, but clearly more is better.
The smart phone application (for both iPhone and Android) “Run with ASIMO” is not yet available, but is said to feature various Honda robots as characters you can interact with. You can also check out photos of ASIMO being demonstrated recently alongside the HondaJet at Honda’s Flickr.
Update: videos of ASIMO’s appearance at the Honda Welcome Plaza in Aoyama are tucked under the break.
Videos by K. Moriyama
More coverage: TokyoTek