What Can ASIMO Do?
We’re so glad you asked! ASIMO was (and is) so amazing because it was able to do so many things a human can do, all in the one robot body.
Walking, Running and Jumping
Robots that walk on two legs have been a constant challenge for science because of all the intricate parts of the human body that make it possible. While you shouldn’t expect to see ASIMO running a marathon, it gets around pretty well by itself, able to amble along at a casual walking pace. The later models are even able to jump and run at speeds of up to 9kmph.
It gets better: ASIMO is equipped with a bunch of sensors that let it navigate its environment, so it can walk around the room and detect obstacles all by itself. Two ‘eye’ cameras are located in its head, while both infrared and laser sensors in its lower body let it navigate open spaces with ease.
That’s right: ASIMO can dance! In fact, since its very first appearance, ASIMO’s dancing ability has been an integral part of its repertoire.
Don’t think it’s just capable of doing the Robot; ASIMO’s ultra-smooth arm movements make it capable of all sorts of funky moves, incorporating its whole body in a surprisingly realistic depiction of rhythmic movement.
Of course, dancing isn’t just a fun little gimmick. ASIMO’s ability to move in such a way is an extremely important step that showed off incredible, unprecedented range of movement in a mechanical being, as well as the ability to mimic complex physical human behaviour.
ASIMO is a true marvel when it comes to interacting with humans, and it’s all thanks to those two ‘eye’ cameras, as well as auditory sensors. With these combined, ASIMO can:
- Recognise its own name and respond to different sounds.
- See when a person is offering a handshake and respond.
- Identify up to ten faces and remember their names.
- Respond to questions by nodding or shaking its head.
- Distinguish different people’s voices.
- Face a person when they approach or are talking.
Hopefully you can see the various features that come together and make chatting to ASIMO more of a ‘human’ experience, like how it can look from one person to another in a conversation, and even remember your name and face.
ASIMO is also equipped with a set of pre-recorded answers in many different languages, so it can chat verbally as well as with body language.
ASIMO’s fingers aren’t just for show. The robot can be programmed to perform a number of tasks, such as grasping handrails to climb stairs, pushing a trolley and even unscrewing bottles to serve drinks.
With ASIMO being originally designed as a ‘helper’ robot, it was given incredible dexterity to perform all kinds of delicate tasks with smoothness and efficiency. Of course, while ASIMO can carry out a number of tasks, it still needs to be programmed specifically to perform each one. In other words, it’ll be a bit of time before it’s able to swap complex jobs on the fly…although that’s a lot like people!