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ASIMO (2000) at the Expo 2005
Manufacturer Honda
Year of creation 2000

ASIMO (アシモ, ashimo) is a humanoid robot created by Honda. Introduced in 2000, ASIMO, which is an acronym for "Advanced Step in Innovative MObility," was created to be a helper to people.[1] With aspirations of helping people who lack full mobility, ASIMO is used to encourage young people to study science and mathematics.[2] At 4 feet, 3 inches tall and 119 lbs., ASIMO was designed to operate in real-world environments, with the ability to walk or run on two feet at speeds up to 3.7 mph (6km/h).[3]

In the USA, ASIMO is part of the Innoventions attraction at Disneyland and has been featured in a 15-minute show called "Say 'Hello' to Honda's ASIMO" since June 2005.[4] The robot has made public appearances around the world, including the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the Miraikan Museum in Japan and the Ars Electronica festival in Austria.[5]

Development History[edit]

Honda began developing humanoid robots in the 1980s, including several prototypes that preceded ASIMO. It was the company's goal to create a walking robot which could not only adapt and interact in human situations, but also improve the quality of life. The E0 was the first bipedal (two-legged) model produced as part of the Honda E series, which was an early experimental line of humanoid robots created between 1986 and 1993. This was followed by the Honda P series of robots produced from 1993 through 1997, which included the first self-regulating, humanoid walking robot with wireless movements. [6] [7]

The research conducted on the E- and P-series led to the creation of ASIMO. Development began at Honda's Wako Fundamental Technical Research Center in Japan in 1999 and ASIMO was unveiled in October 2000.[8] [9]

Differing from its predecessors, ASIMO was the first to incorporate predicted movement control, allowing for increased joint flexibility and a smoother, more human-like walking motion.[10] Introduced in 2000, the first version of ASIMO was designed to function in a human environment, which would enable it to better assist people in real-world situations. Since then, several updated models have been produced to improve upon its original abilities of carrying out mobility assistance tasks. A new ASIMO was introduced in 2005, with an increased running speed to 3.7 mph, which is twice as fast as the original robot.[10] ASIMO fell during an attempt to climb stairs at a presentation in Tokyo in December 2006, [11] but then a month later, ASIMO demonstrated tasks such as kicking a soccer ball, running and walking up and down a set of stairs at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. [12]

In 2007, Honda updated ASIMO's intelligence technologies, enabling multiple ASIMO robots to work together in coordination.[13] This version also introduced the ability to step aside when humans approach the robot and the ability to return to its charging unit upon sensing low battery levels.[13]

Features and technology[edit]


ASIMO stands 4 feet 3 inches (130 cm) tall and weighs 119 pounds (54kg). Research conducted by Honda found that the ideal height for a robot was between 120 cm and the height of an average adult, which is conducive to operating door knobs and light switches.[14] [15] ASIMO is powered by a re-chargeable 51.8V lithium ion battery with an operating time of one hour. Switching from a nickel metal hydride in 2004 increased the amount of time ASIMO can operate before recharging.[16] ASIMO has a three-dimensional computer processor that was created by Honda and consists of a three stacked die, a processor, a signal converter and memory.[17] The computer that controls ASIMO's movement is housed in the robot's waist area and can be controlled by a PC, wireless controller or voice commands.[18]


ASIMO has a walking speed of 1.7 mph (2.7 km/hour) and a running speed of 3.7 mph (6km/hour).[18]

Its movements are determined by floor reaction control and target Zero Moment Point control,[18] which enables the robot to keep a firm stance and maintain position. ASIMO can adjust the length of its steps, body position, speed and the direction in which it is stepping. Its arms, hands, legs, waist and neck also have varying degrees of movement.[19] The technology that allows the robot to maintain its balance was later used by Honda when it began the research and development project for its motorized unicycle, U3-X, in 2009.[20][21] ASIMO has a total of 34 degrees of freedom. The neck, shoulder, wrist and hip joints each have three degrees of freedom, while each hand has four fingers and a thumb that have two degrees of freedom. Each ankle has two degrees of freedom, and the waist, knees and elbows each have one degree of freedom.[14]


ASIMO has the ability to recognize moving objects, postures, gestures, its surrounding environment, sounds and faces, which enables it to interact with humans. The robot can detect the movements of multiple objects by using visual information captured by two camera "eyes" in its head and also determine distance and direction. This feature allows ASIMO to follow a person, or face him or her when approached.[14] The robot interprets voice commands and human hand movements, enabling it to recognize when a handshake is offered or when a person waves or points, and then respond accordingly. [18] ASIMO's ability to distinguish between voices and other sounds allows it to identify its companions. ASIMO is able to respond to its name and recognizes sounds associated with a falling object or collision. This allows the robot to face a person when spoken to or look towards a sound. ASIMO responds to questions by nodding or providing a verbal answer and can recognize approximately 10 different faces and address them by name.[18]

Impact and technologies[edit]

Honda's work with ASIMO led to its later research on walking assist devices that resulted in technological innovations, such as the Stride Management Assist and the Bodyweight Support Assist.[22]

In honor of ASIMO's 10th anniversary in November 2010, Honda developed an application for iPhone and Android (operating system) Smartphones called "Run with ASIMO." Users learn about the development of ASIMO by virtually walking the robot through the steps of a race and then sharing their lap times on Twitter and Facebook.[23]

Public appearances[edit]

Since ASIMO was introduced in 2000, the robot has traveled around the world and performed in front of international audiences. ASIMO made its first public appearance in the U.S. in 2002 when it rang the bell to open trade sessions for the New York Stock Exchange.[24] From January 2003 to March 2005, the robot toured the USA and Canada, demonstrating its abilities for more than 130,000 people.[25] From 2003-2004, ASIMO was part of the North American educational tour, which visited top science and technology museums and academic institutions throughout North America. [26] The goal of the tour was to encourage students to study science through a live show that highlighted ASIMO's abilities. Additionally, the robot visited top engineering and computer science colleges and universities across the USA as part of the ASIMO Technology Circuit Tour in an effort to encourage students to consider scientific careers.[27] In 2004, ASIMO was inducted into the Carnegie Mellon Robot Hall of Fame.[28] In March 2005, the robot walked the red carpet at the world premiere of the computer-animated film Robots (film).[29] In June 2005, ASIMO became a feature in a show called "Say 'Hello' to Honda's ASIMO" at Disneyland's Innoventions attraction, which is a part of the Tomorrowland theme park.[30] As of 2011, this is the only permanent installation of ASIMO in North America.[31]

The robot first visited the United Kingdom in January 2004 for public demonstrations at the Science Museum in London.[32] ASIMO continued on a world tour, making stops in countries such as Spain,[33] Dubai,[34] Russia,[35] South Africa[36] and Australia.[37] In October 2008, ASIMO greeted Prince Charles during a visit to the Miraikan Museum in Tokyo, where it performed a seven-minute step and dance routine.[38]

In a demonstration at Honda's Tokyo headquarters in 2007, the company demonstrated new intelligence technologies that enabled multiple ASIMO robots to work together. The demonstration showed the robot's ability to identify and avoid oncoming people, work with another ASIMO, recognize when to recharge its battery and perform new tasks, such as carrying a tray and pushing a cart.[39]

In 2008, ASIMO conducted the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in a performance of "The Impossible Dream" to bring attention to its partnership with the Orchestra and support the performing arts in Detroit.[40] A 49-foot replica of ASIMO made with natural materials, such as lettuce seed, rice and carnations led the 120th Rose Parade in celebration of Honda's 50th year of operation in the USA.[41] Later that year, the robot made an appearance in Italy at the Genoa Science Festival. [42]

In January 2010, Honda debuted its "Living With Robots" documentary at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.[43] The film focuses on the experience of human interaction with robots like ASIMO.[44] ASIMO attended the Ars Electronica festival in Linz, Austria in September 2010, which allowed Honda to study the results of human and robot interaction and use the results to guide development of future versions of the robot.[45] In April 2011, ASIMO was demonstrated at the FIRST Championship in St. Louis, Missouri to encourage students to pursue studies in math, science and engineering.[46]

ASIMO visited the Ontario Science Center in Toronto in May 2011 and demonstrated its abilities to Canadian students. The robot later traveled to Quebec for the unveiling of an exhibit at the Canadian Museum of Civilization May 19 through May 22, 2011.[47]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kornblum, Janet (22 November 2000). "Meet Honda's ASIMO, a helpful Mr. Roboto". USA Today. Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Volkmann, Kelsey (28 April 2011). "Honda's ASIMO visits FIRST robotics event". St. Louis Business Journal. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  3. ^ Kornblum, Janet (22 November 2000). "Meet Honda's ASIMO, a helpful Mr. Roboto". USA Today. Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "Mickey Welcomes ASIMO to Disneyland's 50th Anniversary". Physorg. 2 June 2005. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  5. ^ "Robot meet and greet: ASIMO works on its social skils this week". Image Gallery Technology. Scientific American. 2 September 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  6. ^ Ford, Jason (22 November 2000). "Two legs good". The Engineer. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  7. ^ Hanlon, Mike. "Twenty years in the making - ASIMO the humanoid robot". Gizmag. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  8. ^ Hudson (31 October 2010). "Honda's ASIMO robot is 10 years old". Telegraph. Retrieved 21 July 2011.  Unknown parameter |First= ignored (|first= suggested) (help)
  9. ^ "Inside ASIMO". AI. Retrieved 18 July 2011. 
  10. ^ a b Jones, K.C. (13 December 2005). "Honda Turns Asimo Robot Into Speedy Errand Assistant". Information Week. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  11. ^ Lam, Brian (11 December 2006). "Honda ASIMO vs. Slippery Stairs". Gizmodo. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  12. ^ Frucci, Adam (9 January 2007). "Honda Asimo Can Handle Stairs Like a Pro Now". Gizmodo. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  13. ^ a b "Humanoid watches manners". The Star. 12 December 2007. Retrieved 5 October 2011. 
  14. ^ a b c Ford, Jason (22 November 2000). "Two legs good". The Engineer. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  15. ^ Jha, Alok (17 February 2004). "Meet the home help of the future". Guardian. Retrieved 26 July 2011. 
  16. ^ Honda. "The Honda ASIMO Robot". Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  17. ^ Hiratsuka, Mark (30 January 2008). "Honda Creates 3D CPU". Digital World Tokyo. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  18. ^ a b c d e Obringer, Lee Ann and Strickland, Jonathan. "Honda ASIMO Robot". How Stuff Works. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  19. ^ Ford, Jason (22 November 2000). "Two legs good". The Engineer. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  20. ^ Raphael, J.R. (24 September 2009). "Honda's U3-X:A Geek-Friendly Unicycle". PC World. Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
  21. ^ "OAP unicycle unveiled in Japan". BBC News. 24 September 2009. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  22. ^ Ngo, Dong (14 April 2009). "Honda walking-assist gear steps on U.S. soil". CNet. Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
  23. ^ Hudson, Paul (31 October 2010). "Honda's Asimo robot is 10 years old". The Telegraph. Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
  24. ^ Hesseldahl, Arik (21 February 2002). "Say Hello to Asimo". Forbes. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  25. ^ Ulanoff, Lance (28 January 2003). "ASIMO Robot to Tour U.S.A.". PC Mag. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  26. ^ Haggs (26 February 2011). "ASIMO Tours North America". Absolute Insight. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  27. ^ Spice, Byron (2 May 2003). "Robot of future harkens back to the past". Post Gazette. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  28. ^ "2004 Inductees Ceremony" Check |url= value (help). Carnegie Mellon. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  29. ^ Carroll, Larry (21 March 2005). "Halle Berry, Amanda Bynes, Robin Williams Roll Out for 'Robots' Premiere Ewan McGregor, Harland Williams, real robot also turn out". Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  30. ^ "Mickey Welcomes ASIMO to Disneyland's 50th Anniversary". Physorg. 2 June 2005. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  31. ^ White, Charlie (29 August 2007). "Honda ASIMO to Return to Disneyland". Gizmodo. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  32. ^ Pease, Roland (16 February 2004). "Honda's humanoid robot hits UK". BBC News. Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  33. ^ "ASIMO Welcomes the King of Spain" (News Release). Honda Europe Newsroom Archives. 26 May 2004. Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  34. ^ "Dubai Motor Show 2005" (Video). AVT Khyber TV News. Dubai, UAE. Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  35. ^ "New ASIMO makes Russian Debut at Moscow International Motor Show" (News Release). Moscow, Russia: Honda Motor Co. Newsroom Archives. 26 August 2008. Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  36. ^ Venter, Irma (31 August 2011). "Asimo humanoid robot to show off some new skills at Joburg Motor Show". Engineering News. South Africa. Retrieved 14 September 2011. An earlier generation of the Asimo robot visited South Africa for the first time at the Auto Africa motor show in 2006. 
  37. ^ Amalfi, Carmelo (29 September 2006). "World`s most advanced robot visits Perth Royal Show". Western Australia Science Network. Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  38. ^ Alderson, Andrew (28 October 2008). "Prince Charles Meets Asimo the Robot on Japanese Tour". Telegraph. Retrieved 12 July 2011. 
  39. ^ Honda (11 December 2007). "Honda Develops Intelligence Technologies Enabling Multiple Asimo Robots to Work Together in Coordination". Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  40. ^ Van Buskirk, Eliot (April 23 2008). "Honda Robot Will Conduct Detroit Symphony". Wired. Retrieved July 27 2011.  Check date values in: |access-date=, |date= (help)
  41. ^ McKeegan, Noel (21 December 2008). "49-foot tall ASIMO rolls into California". Gizmag. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  42. ^ Energetic (21 October 2009). "New Asimo to debut at the Genoa Science Festival". S2KI. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  43. ^ "Asimo Attends Sundance". Robot Living. 14 January 2010. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  44. ^ McCarthy, Erin (27 January 2010). "Asimo Headlines at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival (With Video!)". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  45. ^ "Robot meet and greet: ASIMO works on its social skils this week". Scientific American. 2 September 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  46. ^ Volkmann, Kelsey (28 April 2011). "Honda's ASIMO visits FIRST robotics event". St. Louis Business Journal. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  47. ^ Oliveira, Michael (13 May 2011). "Honda's humanoid robot Asimo seen as human helper of the future". News Retrieved 9 August 2011. 

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