Asimo, waving “Hello?” or “Goodbye?”lucamascaro on Flickr
I think almost everyone has seen Asimo, Honda’s experimental robot, at one time or another. I first actually saw him “in person” (it was the version above, in fact) at Tokyo’s Miraikan, literally the Future Museum, which I’ve touted in another blog because it’s honestly so cool. He was standing on the huge auditorium stage all by himself, unmoved and unmoving—when I asked the woman in charge when he’d be doing his next show, she replied, “He has the day off today.” She smiled when she said this, but frankly she had me a bit spooked. Was there a chance, even a slim one, that Asimo had actually taken the day off and was hanging out with his robot buddies, wishing for a pay raise and the coming of the Singularity and quick? Is Asimo coming alive? Let’s examine the evidence.
It’s Aliiiieeeve! It walks among us!davebloggs007 on Flickr
And runs among us, sort of!roybuloy on Flickr
One thing I sort of remember the woman telling me about Asimo was that he was designed to mimic how humans walk. From everything I’ve seen, he has no trouble in that department. He’s gotten to the point where he can climb up and downstairs, and walk around pretty well. Apparently, he can also run! I guess all of this is good, since whatever they learn from studying him is supposed to help those who can’t do those basic things for themselves.
C’mon, be a sport!lucamascaro on Flickr
Or do something musical!personeelsnet on Flickr
He can also kick a ball around, but forget everything he can do with his feet; those articulated hands can do stuff too, like even conduct a robotic orchestra! But those aren’t the limits of Asimo’s abilities by far!
I didn’t know he could do that!Living for Him in Siam on Flickr
He’s been spotted dancing along with cute idoru in Japan and worldwide, earning the adoration of children and adults alike…
Such a (car) showoff!digitalshay on Flickr
Strutting his stuff at car shows…
Toms Tang on Flickr
…And shaking hands with beautiful women onstage to thunderous applause. It seems the world is positively bursting with possibilities for this guy.
“What can I say? I’m golden like Threepio!”digitalshay on Flickr
He even gives interviews, or at least, responds to voice commands and can appear as if he’s actually listening and responding directly to things that people ask or tell him. So, is there anything that Asimo can’t do?
“Whatever it is, lady, I didn’t do it…unless, of course, you like it.”digitalshay on Flickr
Well, despite appearances, I really seriously doubt that he can actually read a newspaper yet. With everything else he can do, I have to admit that that kind of puts me at ease. 😉
I too welcome our robot overlords, as long as they’re this cutedigitalshay on Flickr
I think it’ll be awhile before Asimo comes outside to play frisbee with the guys, no matter how quick his hands and feet may be. And with the scope of his voice commands still so limited, he’d need a lot of help to banter with them in the first place. Given everything, I think it’s safe to say that Asimo is still in the “cute test-robot stage.” What a relief!
But that still begs the question of what he actually does do on his days off. 🙂Video by MsSaraKelly on Flickr