Monday, March 29, 2010

Asimo - The Engineering of the Humanoid Robot

By Benedict Yossarian

Asimo (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility) is a two-legged humanoid robot that stands at 130 centimeters and weighs 54 kilograms. Asimo resembles an astronaut who wears a backpack. He can walk or run at speeds up to 4.3 mph on its two feet.
This humanoid robot was created by the engineers of Honda Motors, a company that is known as a producer of cars and power supplies. They began developing helper robots in 1986. Their vision is to create a robot that can easily move around or inside the house, and that means they have to perfect the walking technology of their project. Honda engineers started their first attempt with the use of boxes with legs. After the walking mechanism has been developed, they had added the head, arms and hands.
After all the hard work, Honda engineers developed a new technology that created a walking robot, and named it Asimo. Asimo is using a PowerPC that controls all the 26 joints. He can be controlled using a workstation or via remote control. He is powered by small but powerful servo motors that have a rotating shaft which can move the limbs or surfaces to an angle as commanded by the use of a controller. In addition, Honda engineers had created a 3D CPU that will give Asimo more computing power.

Asimo has many features that enables him to interact better with the people, here are some of them:
(a) Asimo can recognize moving objects- with the use of visual data captured by his camera that is attached to his head, he can recognize the movements of an object, the direction were it going and the distance it travels. Other applications that are included in this feature is the ability to follow a person, follow his/her movements or greet them when he or she approaches him.
(b) Asimo can recognize gestures and postures - because Asimo can interpret the movement and position of the human hand, Asimo can react accordingly to the natural movements of people. An example of this is when a person offers a handshake or give a wave, he will then respond to them by accepting the handshake or wave back to them. In addition to that, he can also recognize given directions like pointing to a specific place.
(c) Asimo can also recognize its environment and act in a safe way for him and to humans. An example of this is that he can recognize potential hazards like stairs and avoid humans being hit or bump by him.
(d) Asimo can distinguish sounds - he can distinguish voices and other sounds and identify the source of it. He can identify the person that is talking and responds to the persons name and face. Also, he can respond to different questions as he can either nod for yes or shake his head for no and can even speak out with a verbal answer.
As of year 2007, there are already 46 Asimo units being assembled by Honda engineers. Each of these units is available to for hire for $166,000 a year and cost less than $1,000,000 to manufacture.
Emics is a UKAS accredited laboratory specialising in Calibration [] and Inspection services.

Article Source:

No comments:

Post a Comment