Thursday, November 12, 2009

Asimo Robots: We'd Better Get Used to This

"ASIMO Serves First FCX Clarity Customers"

Honda, YouTube (June 27, 2008)
video, 3:11

"Watch multiple ASIMOs serving the very first FCX Clarity customers at Honda's Head Office in Aoyama, Tokyo. American Honda Motor Co., Inc., recently announced five of the first customers for..."

It's entertaining - and I think this video goes a long way toward answering the question, "why make a robot that's shaped like a human being?" First, just about everything we might want help with is shaped to be manipulated by something shaped like us - and second, it's a whole lot easier to understand body language, if the body's shaped like us.

The Honda video is in English - and the Honda Asimo robots were programmed to speak English - and use gestures appropriate to westerners. This next video shows that Asimo robots are multicultural.


enjoykorea, YouTube (June 22, 2006)
video, 2:55

My guess, based on a few words I recognized, is that this video is in Japanese. At any rate, "ロボット" appears prominently in the captions. Which is, I think, Japanese for "robots." Or maybe robot. Sorry, but my knowledge of languages is limited.

What's exciting, I think, is that robots seem to be making the transition between high-tech gimmick to commercial technology. Right now, it doesn't look like Asimo robots have the sort of artificial intelligence to that can handle more than the most routine tasks.

On the other hand, it's obvious that people don't have all that much trouble interacting with an Asimo.

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