Skip to main content

Honda just rolled out 4 of its cutest robot designs yet

CES 2018 Preview: Honda's New Robotics Concept

Although better known as an automaker, Honda has long been directing funds to robotics research for personal interactions and mobility applications, with some of the technology also likely to find its way back to its driverless car project.

It’s a busy time for the Japanese company as the fruit of its most recent work is set to be unveiled at CES in just a few weeks.

Described by Honda as a “3E (Empower, Experience, Empathy) Robotics Concept,” the four robots incorporate a range of experimental technologies designed for a variety of roles.

First up is the 3E-A18 (no, they don’t have particularly catchy names), described by Honda as a companion robot “that shows compassion to humans with a variety of facial expressions.” In the video, the 3E-A18 can be seen on the far left, sporting a smile so cute it would surely melt the heart of even the most frozen of souls.

Next up is the 3E-B18, a single-seat mobility concept “designed for casual use in indoor or outdoor spaces,” while the 3E-C18 (can you see a pattern emerging with the names yet?) is a small-sized, wheel-based electric machine with a multi-functional cargo space.

Finally, the 3E-D18, the heftiest and most rugged-looking design, is an autonomous off-road vehicle geared toward supporting people “in a broad range of work activities.”

The designs are all easy on the eyes, a deliberate approach by Honda that in its view makes them more likely to be embraced (perhaps quite literally in the case of the smiley 3E-A18) by, for example, senior citizens who might initially be nervous of robotic technology.

As these are concept designs, it’s by no means certain that these robots will one day be ferrying people around, carrying their shopping, or grinning broadly at them, but the technologies powering these devices could well find their way into similar machines in the not-too-distant future. Digital Trends will be at CES in Las Vegas next month to see the robots in action and learn more about what they have to offer.

Asimo and others

Honda already has plenty of experience with robotics, the most famous of which is Asimo, which the company claims to be “the world’s most advanced humanoid robot.”

Another of its creations is the Walking Assist device, a hip-mounted unit fitted with small motors which, as its name suggests, helps those that need some level of support when walking.

And we mustn’t forget the steerable Uni-Cub, shown off wonderfully in one of OK Go’s wacky videos a few years ago.

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
4 simple pieces of tech that helped me run my first marathon
Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar displaying pace information.

The fitness world is littered with opportunities to buy tech aimed at enhancing your physical performance. No matter your sport of choice or personal goals, there's a deep rabbit hole you can go down. It'll cost plenty of money, but the gains can be marginal -- and can honestly just be a distraction from what you should actually be focused on. Running is certainly susceptible to this.

A few months ago, I ran my first-ever marathon. It was an incredible accomplishment I had no idea I'd ever be able to reach, and it's now going to be the first of many I run in my lifetime. And despite my deep-rooted history in tech, and the endless opportunities for being baited into gearing myself up with every last product to help me get through the marathon, I went with a rather simple approach.

Read more
This bracelet helps you fall asleep faster and sleep longer

This content was produced in partnership with Apollo Neuroscience.
Have you been struggling to get the recommended seven hours of sleep? It's always frustrating when you get in bed at a reasonable time, then toss and turn for a hours before you actually sleep. The quality of that sleep is important too. If you're waking up multiple times during the night, you're likely not getting the quality REM cycle sleep that truly rejuvenates your body. If traditional remedies like herbal teas and noise machines just aren't helping, maybe it's time to try a modern solution. Enter the Apollo wearable.

Now we understand being a little skeptical. How can a bracelet on your wrist or ankle affect your sleep patterns? Certainly the answer to a better night's sleep can't be so simple. We considered these same things when we first heard of it. We'll dive deeper into the science behind the Apollo wearable, but suffice it to say that many people have experienced deeper, uninterrupted sleep while wearing one.
A non-conventional approach to better sleep

Read more
The 11 best Father’s Day deals that you can get for Sunday
Data from a workout showing on the screen of the Apple Watch Series 8.

Father's Day is fast approaching and there's still time to buy your beloved Dad a sweet new device to show him how much you love him. That's why we've rounded up the ten best Father's Day tech deals going on right now. There's something for most budgets here, including if you're able to spend a lot on your loved one. Read on while we take you through the highlights and remember to order fast so you don't miss out on the big day.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 -- $200, was $230

While it's the Plus version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 that features in our look at the best tablets, the standard variety is still worth checking out. Saving your Dad the need to dig out their laptop or squint at a small phone screen, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 offers a large 10.5-inch LCD display and all the useful features you would expect. 128GB of storage means plenty of room for all your Dad's favorite apps as well as games too. A long-lasting battery and fast charging save him the need for a power source too often too.

Read more