February 15, 2002-Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (HMC) celebrated the 25th anniversary of its listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) by showcasing its technological strength with one of the most unique opening bell ceremonies in NYSE history. Honda's ASIMO, the world's most advanced humanoid robot, rang the opening bell for trading on February 14.
Honda's basic research and development in humanoid robotics began in 1986 with the goal of developing an autonomous walking robot that can 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, which 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
The latest version of ASIMO walks more smoothly, more flexibly, and more naturally, and is able to move more freely in ordinary environments, including climbing and descending stairways and slopes. Further, it can receive voice input. 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 for use in greeting people at offices and events. This month the humanoid robot also started working as a receptionist for visitors at Honda's Aoyama Headquarters.
Honda, which trades on NYSE as American Depository Receipts (ADRs), opened for trading on NYSE February 11, 1977 as the first Japanese automaker listed. Honda is currently listed on nine stock exchanges around the world, including five Japanese stock exchanges (Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo and Fukuoka) and four overseas stock exchanges -- NYSE, London, Euronext Paris, and Swiss SE.