TORONTO (May 13, 2011) – Honda’s ASIMO, the world’s most advanced humanoid robot, has arrived in Canada for its first visit since 2007. Designed to someday assist people with mobility challenges, ASIMO is the culmination of more than two decades of research and development by Honda engineers. While in Canada, ASIMO will make two stops in Toronto and one in Gatineau, where Honda will demonstrate its humanoid robotics technology to the public.
“Our goal at Honda is to help people move in innovative ways – whether that’s with our cars, motorcycles, our new HondaJet, or as with ASIMO, to help people with mobility challenges,” said Takashi Sekiguchi, President and CEO of Honda Canada Inc. “ASIMO was, in fact, created to be a helper to people, and Honda continues to dedicate resources to robotics research and development. There have been several advances to the latest generation of ASIMO since we launched the first generation of ASIMO in 2000, and we’re thrilled to bring ASIMO back to show Canadians what it can do.”
The latest generation of ASIMO, which stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility, stands at 130 centimeters (4 feet, 3 inches) and is lightweight and compact. It has advanced, flexible walking and running technology; expansive range of arm movement; simplified operation; and a people-friendly design.
To kick off its Canadian tour, ASIMO will return to the Ontario Science Centre, where thousands of visitors last saw the robot in 2003. On May 13, ASIMO will demonstrate its unique capabilities for hundreds of enthusiastic FIRST Lego League and FIRST Robotics Canada competitors prior to a specially arranged performance for students from across Ontario. On Saturday, May 14, ASIMO demonstrations are open to the public at noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Following its stop at the Ontario Science Centre, ASIMO will perform for Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development and Trade, the Honorable Sandra Pupatello, and the public on Monday, May 16. Along with Honda Canada executives, ASIMO will help celebrate both 25 years of Honda manufacturing in Canada and the 25th anniversary of Honda’s research and development in robotics.
“As we reach the milestone of a quarter century of Honda building vehicles in Ontario, the visit by ASIMO will be the perfect occasion to celebrate the company’s innovation and commitment to the province,” said Pupatello, Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Trade. “We look forward to building on our strong partnership with Honda as the province works across the industry to strengthen our position as a North American auto industry leader.”
Next, ASIMO will travel to Gatineau, Quebec, to take part in the opening of the new “JAPAN: Tradition. Innovation” exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Civilization on Thursday, May 19. The exhibit celebrates Japanese innovation and explores the historical roots of cutting edge Japanese technology and design – roots that Honda shares as a proud Canadian company with Japanese ancestry. Honda is also the opening sponsor for the exhibit. Following the exhibition opening, ASIMO will conduct several public performances at the museum from Friday, May 20 to Sunday, May 22.