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Asimo

Close up of a white robot with a face shield and backpack.
Asimo daydreaming. Photo: Honda

Asimo is a humanoid robot designed to be a helper to people. It can run, dance, hop, and kick a soccer ball. It travels the world as an ambassador to robokind, making humans excited about robotics.

Creator

Honda

Year
2000
Country
Japan 🇯🇵
Categories
Features
A series of images show iterations Asimo from legs in 1986 to its humanoid form in 2000-present.
Interactive
See the evolution of Asimo. Photos: Honda

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Appearance

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Did you know?

Asimo stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility, but the acronym was derived from the Japanese word "asi," which loosely translates to "foot" or "leg."

A human shaped robot that is white with a dark faceplate like an astronaut.
Asimo's body is made of magnesium alloy and plastic resins. Photo: Honda
A two legged white robot takes a step.
Asimo can run circles around you. Photo: Honda
The history of Honda's robotics research. Video: Honda

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History

Honda started developing humanoid robots in 1986. Over the next 15 years, the company would build about a dozen prototypes. Early robots (models E1 to E6) focused on legged locomotion. Next, Honda engineers added a head, torso, and arms to the robot to improve balance and add functionality. In 1993, Honda unveiled its first humanoid, the P1, a rather large machine at 1.9 meters and 175 kg. The P1 was followed by the P2 in 1996 and the P3 in 1997. On 31 October 2000, Honda introduced its now-famous humanoid, Asimo. In 2004, Asimo was inducted into Carnegie Mellon's Robot Hall of Fame as the first robot to demonstrate true human-like mobility. A second-generation Asimo debuted in 2005. In November 2011, Honda unveiled an improved design, which it called "all-new Asimo." With enhanced physical capabilities, the new Asimo was capable of running backwards, continuously jumping up and down, and even hopping on one foot. In 2018, however, Honda said it was halting Asimo development in favor of working on robots with more practical applications, like robots for elder care and disaster relief. In early 2022, Honda announced it was retiring Asimo, bringing an end to four decades of impressive advances in robotics that inspired other engineers and captured the public's imagination.

A human shaped robot holds its fingers up.
Asimo says "hello" in Japanese sign language. Photo: Honda
A white robot opens a bottle full of a green liquid in front of a cup.
Tea anyone? Photo: Honda

More Images

An office with two women in suits and two white humanoid robots that are a bit more then half their size.
Welcome to the future, human. Photo: Honda
A woman sits at a table while a white robot delivers a holder with four coffee cups.
Even a robot needs a coffee break sometimes. Photo: Honda

Specs

Overview

Able to navigate human environments, recognize faces, and understand speech. Bipedal walking based on ZMP (Zero Moment Point) control approach.

Status

Discontinued

Year

2000

Website
Width
45 cm
Height
130 cm
Weight
48 kg
Speed
9 km/h (running), 2.7 km/h (walking)
Sensors

Head with cameras and microphones. Torso with gyroscope and accelerometer. Foot with six-axis force sensor. Hands with tactile sensors in the palms and force sensor on each finger.

Actuators

More than 26 DC motors and brushless DC motors.

Degrees of Freedom (DoF)
57 (Head: 3 DoF; Arm: 7 DoF x 2; Hand: 13 DoF x 2; Hip: 2 DoF; Leg: 6 DoF x 2)
Materials

Body made of a magnesium alloy frame covered with a plastic resin.

Compute

Custom computing and control system.

Software

VxWorks real-time OS and custom control software.

Power

51.8-V lithium-ion battery, 1 hour of operation