Honda’s newest Asimo robot can walk faster, hear you better, and knows sign language

asimo in europe
The latest version of Asimo turned up in Belgium on Wednesday, giving European robot enthusiasts their first up-close look at Honda’s advanced life-like bot.

Watching Asimo walk and run with such effortless grace and ease, it’s hard not to imagine the Honda chairman himself inside, pulling all the moves. It’s certainly a far cry from its hopeless but hilarious attempt at climbing stairs back in 2007.

Apparently, though, Asimo’s for real, a marvel of Japanese engineering that’s been improving markedly with every iteration over its 14-year lifespan.asimo robot

The 4.2-foot-tall humanoid was last taken into the engineers’ tool shed for a major makeover a couple of years ago when it was given a speed boost (to 5.6 mph from 3.7 mph) as well as a more graceful running style. The bot was also fitted with technology to recognize different voices speaking at the same time and respond to different instructions given by each person.

The further-refined, all-new Asimo can also cope better with rough terrain, while enhanced dexterity allows it to communicate via sign language and perform tasks such as taking the lid off a bottle and pouring a drink (without spilling it all over the place, thankfully).

“Previous generations of Asimo have demonstrated incredible fluidity and speed of movements,” Satoshi Shigemi, chief engineer of the Asimo project, said during a demonstration this week in Brussels, Belgium. “The all-new Asimo takes this mobility, task performing ability and interaction with people to the next level and moves Honda one step closer to its ultimate goal of developing a robot that can be a helper to people in need.”

In other words, Asimo, which stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility, could one day find itself carrying out duties in places like homes for the elderly, or assisting the disabled with various tasks.

While it might seem like a cool idea to also have Asimo pottering around your home — answering the door to visitors, relaying alerts and notifications, and unblocking the toilet — such a reality could be many years away. For something close to that, you’re best off laying down $500 for Jibo.

[Source: HondaYahoo]

Emerging Tech

NASA is building an inflatable space robot named King Louie

NASA is funding an inflatable robot called King Louie which could travel to the stars in deflated form and then be blown up when and where required. Here is why that's so exciting.

The best iRobot Roomba deals to make cleaning your home a breeze

Keep your home clean without lifting a finger using a robot vacuum cleaner. These nine iRobot Roomba deals not only help you keep your home tidy, but many also come with advanced features such as automatic scheduling and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (April 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and others that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Emerging Tech

Star gives off superflare equal to 80 billion megatonnes of TNT. That’s a lot

A tiny star the size of Jupiter has been observed giving off a massive superflare 10 times more powerful than any flare from our Sun. The findings are raising questions about how much energy small stars can hold.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robots that eat landmines and clean your floors

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

The grid of the future will be powered by … giant subterranean bagpipes?

In order to transition to a more renewable-focused energy system, we need to scale up our grid storage capacity --- and our existing methods aren't going to cut it. Could compressed air be the key?
Emerging Tech

SpaceX experiences problem during test, Crew Dragon capsule may have exploded

SpaceX has experienced a problem during the testing of its Crew Dragon capsule. During the engine test firing at Cape Canaveral yesterday afternoon, an unspecified anomaly occurred which lead to plumes of smoke rising from the test site.
Emerging Tech

Beresheet crash caused by manual command, but reflector device may have survived

Details are emerging about what may have gone wrong with spacecraft Beresheet's failed moon landing. A manual command was entered which led to a chain reaction. But NASA still hopes to salvage use of its Laser Retroreflector Array device.
Emerging Tech

The oldest type of molecule in the universe has been located at last

A milestone in the development of the early universe was the combination of helium and hydrogen atoms into a molecule called helium hydride. But strangely enough, this ancient molecule has never been detected in space before now.
Emerging Tech

Mercury’s wobble as it spins reveals that it has an inner solid core

Scientists have long wondered what the inside of Mercury looks like, and they now have strong evidence that the planet has a large and solid metallic core. The data for the new findings was collected by the now-defunct MESSENGER mission.
Emerging Tech

Gravitational forces at heart of Milky Way shaped this star cluster like a comet

Hubble has captured the stunning Messier 62 cluster. The cluster is warped, with a long tail which stretches out to form a shape like a comet. It is thought this distortion is due to Messier 62's proximity to the center of the galaxy.
Emerging Tech

Burgers are just the beginning: Embracing the future of lab-grown everything

You’ve almost certainly heard of the 'farm to fork' movement, but what about 'lab to table'? Welcome to the fast-evolving world of lab-grown meat. Is this the future of food as we know it?
Emerging Tech

Troubleshooting Earth

It’s no secret that humans are killing the planet. Some say it’s actually so bad that we’re hurtling toward a sixth major extinction event -- one which we ourselves are causing. But can technology help us undo the damage we’ve…