Honda unveils revamped Asimo robot

Honda has unveiled a smarter humanoid robot that has the ability to move around with human-like agility at a demonstration in the company's suburban Tokyo research facility.

The new revamped Asimo has the ability to move without being directly controlled by an operator.

Being lighter than the earlier version that was unveiled in 2000, the new Asimo can run faster, jump up and down, and is even capable of jumping on one foot.

It can even balance itself on uneven surfaces and pour drinks into paper cups without crushing them.

The all-new Asimo is now more advanced with the decision-making capability to determine its behaviour in concert with its surroundings such as movements of people.

Honda President Takanobu also introduced an experimental model of a task-performing robot arm for the robot. The mechanical arm can be remotely controlled to perform tasks in unstable places which are difficult for people to access.

The technology was developed with the intention of helping with the nuclear crisis in north-eastern Japan.

According to Honda, the mechanical arm that was demonstrated in Tokyo is capable of opening and closing valves at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, which suffered meltdown after the twin disasters in Japan early this year.

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