TOKYO, Dec. 11, 2007 – Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has further advanced intelligence technologies enabling its advanced humanoid robot ASIMO to act autonomously and perform uninterrupted service to office guests.
Honda developed an intelligence technology that enhances smooth movement by enabling ASIMO to choose between stepping back and yielding the right-of-way or continuing to walk based on the predicted movement of oncoming people. Honda also developed a new intelligence technology related to ASIMO’s ability to perform tasks such as carrying a tray and pushing a cart. In addition, a newly added function enables ASIMO to automatically charge its battery when its remaining battery level falls below a certain level. Furthermore, a new comprehensive system was developed so that multiple ASIMOs can share tasks by adjusting to the situation and work together in coordination to provide uninterrupted service. For example, if one ASIMO is idled while recharging, other ASIMO robots will step in and perform assigned tasks.
Honda will begin test operations of two ASIMOs equipped with these newly developed technologies December 12, at the second floor lobby of Honda’s Aoyama, Japan headquarters.
Since introducing an all-new ASIMO in 2005, with more advanced physical and intelligence capabilities, Honda has focused its R&D efforts more on the area of intelligence technologies. The newly developed technologies, which enable ASIMO to operate in an environment with people and other ASIMOs, bring Honda one step closer to the development of a humanoid robot that can be put to practical use in a real world environment requiring coexistence with people.
New function to work together
In situations where more than one ASIMO works together, information regarding the current status of each ASIMO will be shared constantly among the multiple networked ASIMOs in order to share tasks in the most efficient manner. More precisely, first, the distance between the current position of each ASIMO and the site where each task needs to be performed will be calculated. Then, taking remaining battery levels into consideration, the most time efficient way to share tasks among the multiple ASIMOs will be determined. Based on this decision, each ASIMO autonomously performs its assigned tasks.
New function to avoid oncoming people
ASIMO identifies oncoming people through its eye camera, calculates traveling direction and speed, predicts forthcoming movements of oncoming people, and chooses the most appropriate path so that it will not block the movement of others. When there is not enough space, ASIMO will step back and yield the right-of-way.
New autonomous battery charging function
A new battery charging station was developed for ASIMO’s autonomous recharging. When the remaining battery level falls below a certain level, ASIMO will automatically identify and walk to the closest available battery charging station and re-charge while standing.
Honda will continue its efforts to further advance intelligence technologies with the goal to develop a robot which can be truly useful in a real world environment where coexistence with people is required.