December 14, 2007 Honda has announced a further update to its advanced humanoid robot platform. The latest incarnation of ASIMO has added intelligence technology allowing it to autonomously perform services such as carrying a tray or pushing a cart, work together with fellow robots to share and complete tasks through a constant sharing of information, and even predict the movements of oncoming people and decide for itself how best to stay out of the way.
ASIMO, short for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility, is a key showpiece for Honda and is constantly evolving to incorporate the latest technologies.
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The news follows the release of a new generation of ASIMO in August this year in which Honda added functionality such as the ability to run at four miles per hour. With key physical capabilities already improved, focus has turned to intelligence technologies. The latest upgrade means ASIMO can now act autonomously and perform uninterrupted services to office guests and added intelligence technology also enhances smooth movement, 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.
The new cooperative work function allows more than one ASIMO to work together and is truly advanced. Information regarding the current status of each ASIMO will be shared constantly among the multiple networked robots in order to share tasks in the most efficient manner. The distance between the current position of each ASIMO and the site where each task needs to be performed will be calculated. Taking remaining battery charge 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, and when it runs out of steam, it now has the ability to identify its battery is running low and walks to the closest available battery charging station to re-charge while standing.
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