In celebration of Honda's 25th anniversary of its listing on New York Stock Exchange (NYSC), ASIMO was invited to ring the opening bell at 9:30 a.m. on February 14, the very first moment of the bell rung by a humanoid, as you will see here.
Sure, ASIMO has been to many places to demonstrate some amazing talents, but ASIMO had never been to a foreign country other than for shooting commercials. So, the destination of ASIMO's first official tour overseas was New York Stock Exchange (NYSC) of all places, to become the first humanoid ever to ring the opening bell. ASIMO played its important role perfectly by confidently going up the stairs to the stage overlooking the trading floor, and ringing the opening bell. Then, standing next to Honda President, Mr. Hiroyuki Yoshino, who accompanied ASIMO from Japan on its very first foreign trip, ASIMO waved to the audience that acknowledged the performance with a big applause.
Posing before the journalists
Honda's basic research and development in humanoid robotics began in 1986 with the goal of developing an autonomous walking robot that could be helpful to humans as well as of practical use in society. In 1996, Honda's prototype robot P2 made its debut, followed by the more advanced P3 in 1997. ASIMO, debuted November 2000, is a further evolved version of P3 in an endearing people-friendly size, 120cm-tall, that enables it to actually perform tasks within the realm of a human living environment, such as moving up and down on stairs or slopes, naturally and smoothly.
Specialized movements, guidance and explanation functions now enable ASIMO to be customized according to a wide range of user requirements. This year ASIMO robots are being leased to several corporations and museums. The humanoid robot has been working, since February 2002, as a receptionist for visitors to Honda's head office building in Aoyama, Tokyo.
Honda, which trades on NYSE as American Depository Receipts (ADRs), opened for trading on NYSC February 11, 1977 as the first listed Japanese automaker. Honda is currently listed on major stock exchanges in five countries (Japan, US, UK, Switzerland, France).