Honda's Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility robot - better known as ASIMO - has shown off its latest moves at the New York Auto Show.
Shortly after unveiling the new Honda Fit (Honda Jazz), the Japanese carmaker called upon the robot to demonstrate its latest tricks for onlookers.
ASIMO can now run at speeds of up to 9km/h, hop on one leg, climb stairs, and even prepare a drink by opening the container and pouring the liquid into a cup (see video), after which it politely hands the cup on.
If that’s not enough, ASIMO can also dance, jump up and down, kick a ball and shake hands.
These improvements to ASIMO have been gradually incorporated into the original design over the last few years, although the current ASIMO project has been around for almost three decades.
Further improvement can be seen in ASIMO’s hands, which are now so intricately mobile they can perform sign language.
ASIMO was once controlled remotely by its engineers, but it can now complete tasks that have already been programmed into it of its own ‘free will’, using sensors and visual clues.
Honda is looking to improve ASIMO’s recognition skills for the future, by teaching the robot non-verbal actions used by humans to communicate, along with improving the ‘scare-factor’ associated with a robot that is becoming freakishly ‘human’.
ASIMO can pour cups of tea for a table of guests, but the robot will now pause and look at the guests before serving them - a move designed to put humans at ease.
(Asimov's 'I, Robot' just came one robotic step closer.)