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Part II: Tomorrow’s Technology > Your Own Personal Robot: Honda ASIMO

Chapter 45. Your Own Personal Robot: Honda ASIMO

Perhaps the ultimate consumer gadget that most people can imagine is a personal robot—a domesticated robot that can help around the house by doing chores and can also be a long-term companion simply for entertainment. We’ve seen precursors for the personal robot appear in the entertainment arena to simply have fun and in the utility arena to help you simplify your life. For entertainment, we’ve seen robotic pets such as the Tekno robotic puppy, Sony’s AIBO robot puppies, and the well-known Furby pets. On the utility side, for practical assistance in and around the home, we’ve seen robotic vacuum cleaners such as the Roomba from iRobot and the DC06 from Dyson, and lawn mowers such as the Toro iMow and the Husqvarna Auto Mower.

All these early generation robots provide a glimpse into how personal robots may be able to serve us in the future. Another interesting and more humanlike robot is the ASIMO from Honda (Figure 45-1; Plate 15). ASIMO stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility and was conceived to operate inside a typical home. The ASIMO robot is 1.2 meters in height, 43 kilograms in weight, and looks like a child wearing a spacesuit. In this profile, we’ll take a look at ASIMO as an example of the current state of the art in personal robots.


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