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
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 listed Japanese automaker. 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.