ASIMO – which stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility – was first presented to the public in 1996. But now Honda Robotics has unveiled a multi-fingered hand for the robot, with a tactile sensor on the palm and a force sensor embedded in each finger. Combined with object recognition technology, this enables ASIMO to do things like pick up a water bottle and twist the cap off, or pour liquid into a soft paper cup without squashing it.
Viki Hood, from Honda Robotics explained: “ASIMO has 57 degrees of movement; a degree of freedom refers to a direct comparison with a human joint. So ASIMO has 57 motors that can all work independently to make complex movements. A good example of that is ASIMO’s hands, where we’ve increased the degrees of freedom from 2 to 13 in each hand, which allows ASIMO to move its fingers independently and to complete complex tasks.”
And of course, if a robot can pour coffee, there’s no reason why it can’t pour other drinks too.
In the US, at this farm in Wisconsin, a fleet of robots are doing all the dirty work. Cleaning barns, feeding livestock, even milking the cows, all these tasks can now be done by robots.