Honda-The Power of Dreams
ASIMO to Assist European Academics in the Pursuit of Intelligence Technologies
Honda Research Institute Europe (HRI-EU) links with leading European university to expand Honda's research into intelligence technologies
It is the first time that a European university will have access to Honda's humanoid robot, ASIMO, as a research platform
Collaboration aims to move ASIMO closer to becoming a partner in society and developing intelligence as a technology in future Honda products

BIELEFELD, Germany, October 10, 2007– Honda Research Institute Europe (HRI-EU) and the newly founded Institute for Cognition and Robotics (CoR-Lab) at Bielefeld University, signed a landmark cooperative agreement. Bielefeld University is one of Europe's leading establishments in the field of cognition and robotics intelligence and offers a unique spectrum of interdisciplinary research.

Honda signs landmark collaborative agreement with the CoR-Lab, Bielefeld University, Germany

Honda signs landmark collaborative agreement with the CoR-Lab, Bielefeld University, Germany

As part of the collaboration, Honda has provided two ASIMOs to the CoR-Lab, equipped with "whole body movement" software developed at HRI-EU. Using an interdisciplinary approach which integrates the natural, engineering and social sciences, researchers will apply an understanding of how the brain works, its underlying architecture and mechanisms, to develop intelligent systems with similar capabilities. As part of the agreement, Honda is contributing support for the CoR-Lab's graduate school to educate up to 15 PhD. students and young scientists in joint research projects. It is the first time that a European university will have access to ASIMO as a research platform.

ASIMO is the culmination of more than two decades of humanoid robotics research and development by Honda engineers which aimed to successfully replicate human movement, such as walking and climbing stairs. This was achieved in the 1990s; the latest generation of ASIMO goes even further with advanced mobility. Honda's ultimate ambition however, remains to develop a robot so advanced that it can genuinely help people, such as those who lack full mobility, or by working in environments too dangerous for humans.

Professor Dr Edgar Koerner, President of HRI-EU, said: "Research into intelligent systems requires a close interdisciplinary collaboration between subjects such as the engineering sciences, experimental and theoretical neurobiology, psychology, linguistics and newly emerging subjects like developmental neurobiology.

"This wide spectrum of interdisciplinary research is rare in a single company research unit. However, the Technical Faculty of Bielefeld University has demonstrated and proven this capability, therefore we are confident that our collaboration with the CoR-Lab and its attached Graduate School will expedite progress in these key topics in the fundamental research of cognition and robotics."

Commenting on the partnership, Tomohiko Kawanabe, senior Managing Director of Honda R&D Inc., added: "For a company like Honda, intelligence must be a key technology of the future. We must recognise our responsibility for our society and make our technology available for the education of the next generation of engineers and scientists."

Two ASIMOs were presented to the CoR-LAB on 10 October 2007 by Tomohiko Kawanabe during an international research symposium: ‘Humans and Humanoids - Perspectives in Cognition and Robotics.'