Robots are awesome, and for this reason alone Honda have pumped millions into developing a bipedal robot over the last twenty years.
Today their latest, called Asimo, came to visit us at work so we could see him in action:
As well as serving drinks he did some running, kicked a football (gently) and was able to be led around by the hand. The last was particularly impressive as that wasn’t ‘preprogrammed’ as such, it would respond to the direction it was moved in.
A cliche to say, but it’s amazing how wired we are to respond to humanoid shapes, imparting them with human emotion and intention. (Funnily enough, this was undemined somewhat by the child-like sound of it’s computer generated voice. It wasn’t the right voice for the job)
It’s certainly come along way since their first robot ‘EO’ in 1986:
Will we really have one in the home of the future as the presenter claimed? Maybe – at least it seems a little more plausible that those imagined in the 1950s…