Honda history of the Humanoids.
The first two-legged walking humanoid represents the fruition of engineerszeal to create an innovative kind of mobility that brings a whole new value to human society in perfect co-existence and harmony. Indeed, mans dream has taken the first but steady step into the future as the robot steps forward.
Honda's humanoids are shown in chronological order of development since 1986.
The Honda "Exparimetal Model O". Walking by putting one leg before the other was successfully achieved. However, taking nearly five seconds between steps, it walked very slowly in a straight line.
To increase walking speed, or to allow walking on uneven surfaces or slopes, fast walking must be realized.
Human walking was thoroughly researched and analyzed. In addition to human walking, animal walking and other forms of walking were also studied, and the movement and location of the joints needed for walking were also researched. Based on data derived from human walking, a fast walking program was created, input into the robot and experiments were begun.
The E2 robot achieved fast walking at a speed of 1.2 km/h on flat surfaces.
The next step was to realize fast, stable walking in the human living environment, especially on uneven surfaces, slopes and steps, without falling down.
Honda investigated techniques for stabilizing walking, and developed three control techniques.
The walking mechanism was established with the E5. Honda's E5 robot achieved stable, two-legged walking, even on steps or sloping surfaces. The next step was to attach the legs to a body and create a humanoid robot.
Prototypes of man-like models with upper limbs and body with realistic movements.
Further evolution in size and weight and advanced walking technology. Asimo's highlights include:
• Compact and lightweight.
• Sophisticated walk technology.
• Greater freedom of upper limb movement.
• Greater ease of manipulation.
• More human-friendly design.
The engineer's ultimate goal in their R&D efforts was a humanoid that benefited people in their daily environment. That goal was achieved in the form of the current, more human-like Asimo with the right size and weight and the ease of operation that guaranteed the greater freedom of locomotion and manipulation.
On December 15, 2004, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced the development of new technologies for the next-generation ASIMO humanoid robot, targeting a new level of mobility that will better enable ASIMO to function and interact with people by quickly processing information and acting more nimbly in real-world environments.
Key technologies include:
• “Posture Control” technology* making it possible to run in a natural human-like way.
• “Autonomous Continuous Movement” technology enabling flexible route to destination.
• Enhanced visual and force sensor technologies enabling smoother interaction with people.
Posture Control technology.
The combination of newly developed high-response hardware and the new Posture Control technology enables ASIMO to proactively bend or twist its torso to maintain its balance and prevent the problems of foot slippage and spinning in the air, which accompany movement at higher speeds. ASIMO is now capable of running at a speed of 3km/hour. In addition, walking speed has been increased from the previous 1.6 km/hour to 2.5 km/hour.
Autonomous Continuous Movement technology.
The next-generation ASIMO can maneuver toward its destination without stopping by comparing any deviation between the input map information and the information obtained about the surrounding area from its floor surface sensor. ASIMO can now autonomously change its path when its floor surface sensor and visual sensors located in its head detect obstacles.
Enhanced visual sensor and force sensor technologies allow for smoother interaction with people.
By detecting people’s movements through visual sensors in its head and force (kinesthetic) sensors which have been newly added to its wrists, ASIMO can now move in sync with people allowing it to give or receive an object, shake hands in concert with a person’s movement and step forward or backward in response to the direction its hand is pulled or pushed.
By continuing to advance these new technologies, Honda will pursue development of an ASIMO that will be useful to people.
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