Photo taken during the filming for "Update 2056 - The World in 50 Years", a production by Gruppe 5 Filmproduktion for ZDF und Discovery Channel. Copyright Gruppe 5 Filmproduktion 2006.
EUROPE, February 24, 2006 -- Honda’s advanced humanoid robot ASIMO has landed a new role as an actor in a forthcoming science-based TV docu-drama. ASIMO, which has never before appeared in a TV series, will perform with real actors in a program called ‘Update 2056: The World in 50 Years’ that will be broadcast on the Discovery Channel worldwide in November/December.
Based on scientific research, this forthcoming three-part docu-drama explores possible scenarios of how the world may look in 50 years time. In the series ASIMO is owned by John, a grandfather who lives in a high-tech metropolis and has a collection of technology from his early childhood. ASIMO, which appears as itself in the program, is part of the grandfather’s collection and required 'aging' with make-up to appear 50 years older. Through a thrilling adventure, ASIMO, despite its age, proves its worth as the City and its inhabitants are plunged into danger.
The program is being filmed in Germany as well as other European locations and produced by Gruppe 5 Köln on behalf of ZDF, one of Europe’s largest television broadcasters. Co-production partnerships include Discovery Channel US, ARTE and ORF.
Commenting on ASIMO’s acting debut, William De Braekeleer, Honda Motor Europe’s Corporate PR Manager said:
"Clearly Honda’s long term vision for ASIMO is not as a professional actor, but Update 2056 is a project we are excited to be involved with. The series also presents a vision of the future of robotics that matches our own; with ASIMO and humanoid robots playing a positive and useful role in society 50 years from now."
Lars Montag, the director of ‘Update 2056’, which is ZDF’s most ambitious docu-drama to date, commented: "We are honored to have Honda’s support on this project and obviously thrilled that ASIMO could play such a direct role in telling our vision of the future. When you look around today for signs of tomorrow’s technology there are no better examples than ASIMO. It has personally been amazing to see it in action on set and we all feel privileged to have ASIMO involved."
ASIMO is of course no stranger to Hollywood. In March 2005 ASIMO walked the red carpet at the world premier of Robots: The Movie. In 2004 it also met actor Anthony Daniels (who played C3PO, the humanoid robot in Star Wars) at their joint induction into the Robot Hall of Fame at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh.