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CorporateJapanNovember 20, 2000
Honda Debuts New Humanoid Robot "ASIMO"
New Technology Allows Robot to Walk Like a Human

Tokyo, November 20, 2000---Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced the development of a new small, lightweight humanoid robot named ASIMO that employs Honda's new robotic walking technology to achieve an unprecedented human-like ability to walk. ASIMO's unique capabilities were demonstrated at Honda's global headquarters in Tokyo today.

"Honda has taken up a new challenge in mobility," said Hiroyuki Yoshino, president and CEO of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. "With this development of a two-legged humanoid robot that can walk, Honda hopes to create a partner for people, a new kind of robot with a positive function in society."

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 individuals 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 -- which stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility -- is a further evolved version of the P3 in an endearing people-friendly size that enables it to actually perform tasks within the realm of a human living environment. Honda's new robotic walking technology adds a sophisticated "predicted movement control" feature to the walking control technology of earlier Honda robots. As a result, ASIMO walks more smoothly, more flexibly, and more naturally, with instant response to sudden movements. The range of movement of its arms has also been significantly increased, while a new portable controller enables easier operation.

At 120cm (just under 4 feet), ASIMO is significantly smaller than Honda's earlier humanoid robots. The smaller size was chosen to allow it to operate freely in human living space and to make it people-friendly. Honda research determined the ideal robot height to be between 120cm and the height of an average adult, a size that allows the robot to perform basic tasks such as operating light switches and doorknobs.

ASIMO


ASIMO

ASIMO's Special Features
1) Small & Lightweight
Compared to the P3, ASIMO's height has been reduced from 160cm to 120cm (3.95 ft.) and its weight from 130kg to 43kg (94.8 lbs.). ASIMO's height of 120cm was chosen because it was considered the optimum for operating household switches, reaching doorknobs within human living space, and performing tasks at tables and benches. ASIMO was also made much more compact and lightweight through the redesign of its skeletal frame, reducing the frame's wall thickness and specially designing the control unit.
2) Advanced Walking Technology
Predicted Movement Control (for predicting the robot's next move and shifting the center of gravity accordingly) was combined with existing walking control know-how to create intelligent real-time flexible walking technology, permitting smooth changes of direction. Because ASIMO walks like a human, with instant response to sudden movements, its gait is natural and very stable.
3) Simple Operation
To improve the operation of the robot, a flexible walking control and button operation (for gestures and hand movements) can be carried out from either a workstation or a handy portable controller.
4) Expanded Range of Movement
By designing ASIMO's shoulders 20 degrees higher than those of the P3, elbow movement has been increased to 15 degrees over horizontal, enabling a wider range of work capability. ASIMO's range of vertical arm movement has also been increased to 105 degrees, compared to the P3's 90-degree range.
5) People-Friendly Design
In addition to its compact size, ASIMO features an attractive, people-friendly design.

ASIMO Specifications
Weight 43kg (94.8 lbs.)
Height 1,200mm (3.95 ft)
Depth 440mm
Width 450mm
Walking Speed 0 - 1.6km/h (approx. 1 mph)
Operating Degrees of Freedom* Head: 2 degrees of freedom Arm: 5 x 2 = 10 degrees of freedom
Hand: 1 x 2 = 2 degrees of freedom Leg: 6 x 2 = 12 degrees of freedom
TOTAL: 26 degrees of freedom
Actuators Servomotor + Harmonic Decelerator + Drive ECU
Controller Walking / Operation Control ECU, Wireless Transmission ECU
Sensors Foot: 6-axis sensor
Torso: Gyroscope & Deceleration Sensor
Power Source 38.4V/10AH (Ni-MH)
Operation Work Station & Portable Controller
*Degrees of Freedom: The human joint has one degree of freedom for each range of movement; forward / backward, up / down and rotational.
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