Honda stops the development of biped robots Asimo

Who don’t know Asimo? This bipedal robot in his time conquered the world by the fact of its appearance and many of us in childhood long remember this strange mechanism. But now Honda closes the project. Of course, technologies that have emerged in the process of developing Asimo, have not gone away and will form the basis for other products such as the Walking Assist device or a self-balancing motorcycle.

The Asimo project have not seen any big updates since substantial processing of autonomy in 2011, and since no future as a commercial product it does not, the bosses of the company decided to pull the plug. However, Honda will continue working on robotics and artificial intelligence — roughly a third of the initiatives, along with mobile and energy solutions, will be devoted to these two areas.

As reported by Kyodo News, the company officially stated that it will develop other bipedal robots, but the names they will be different. Asimo himself, it seems, will now become a collector’s robot.

The failure of the Japanese robots in an attempt to cope with the consequences of the Fukushima disaster has generated a crisis in the industry. Disasters like this are like the last exam for robots. If robots are unable to help people in extreme conditions, what’s their point? First, the production of humanoid robot will be very expensive, and the robot will be much less capable than a man. The creation of such a robot would not be economically viable. Far better to build a robot that will do the job too dangerous for humans. But as shown by Fukushima, robots, even one of the most advanced Nations in the world are not ready to replace people in the most difficult conditions.

Nowhere is this crisis felt more than a Honda. The company developed ASIMO, which surprised the world in 2000, and continues to develop robots. But despite all the technological advances, Honda knew that ASIMO is too unreliable for the real world.

What Fukushima has caused changes in the approach to Honda robotics. Two years after the disaster it became known that Honda is developing a robot for disaster, and in October 2017, the public was first introduced its prototype. Remarkably, the creators decided not to give the robot dexterous hand, and instead provided him with remote-controlled instruments, which by necessity will be used in emergency conditions.

This shift from the creation of humanoid robots for entertainment, like ASIMO to create a useful rescue robots reverberated around the world. Goodbye, Asimo.

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