On college campuses, the week before finals is know as “Dead Week,” primarily because the students resist social activities to prepare for their final exams. However, the Stanford campus came alive December 2-4, 2004 with the appearance of a special magnesium alloy visitor, ASIMO, the word’s most advanced humanoid robot.
During the three-day event, more than 5,200 people visited Memorial Auditorium on the Stanford campus to see ASIMO in person and learn about the history and future of robotics. During a 30-minute robotics demonstration, the audience saw ASIMO walk forward and backward, dance, kick a soccer ball and even climb a set of stairs. Thrilled with that display, adults and kids alike wanted to know even more about the 4 ft. tall bot. So, following each demonstration a Honda engineer answered the audience’s questions about ASIMO’s technology, the thinking behind ASIMO’s design and Honda’s robotics program.
The event was sponsored by the Alliance for Innovative Manufacturing and the Mechanical Engineering Department. The Alliance for Innovative Manufacturing (AIM) is a continuous learning community of industrial professionals, academics, and students passionate about the making of real things that improve people's lives. It is a cooperative venture among Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, School of Engineering, and member industrial firms. Check out the AIM, "How Everyday Things Are Made" web site.
The Mechanical Engineering Department at Stanford seeks to combine excellence in education and research with service to society. The goal of the academic program in mechanical engineering is to provide students with a balance of intellectual and practical experiences that enable them to address a variety of societal needs. The program at the undergraduate level prepares students for entry-level work as mechanical engineers, or for graduate study in engineering or in another discipline where a fundamental engineering background constitutes a desirable foundation.
As ASIMO headed out of the palm tree-lined streets of Stanford, it was clear that AIM, the Mechanical Engineering Department and the students, faculty and staff at Stanford gave ASIMO an "A+."