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Living with Robots….. Are We Ready?

Posted on 23 October 2010 by yizhan

Robots, they had been  my favorite toy since I was a kid, and still fascinated whit them  up to  now . Well,   now in our daily living , as technology evolves, robots and robotics has been a part of  it not only in toys but also in some industries like car manufacturing , some medical instruments, agriculture  and military equipment. Some of us is aware of that and some are not.  There are people who are interacting with robots yet not noticing it. Maybe the reason is some of us think that robots is the same as what they see in the movie or television.   As mention by Alicia Jones (Supervisor, Corporate communication American Honda) in the video below, she said that some people are watching to much television, and I agree with her that we could imagine lots of possibility in a scifi movie but in reality, applying it, is a very difficult task to achieve.

Now the big question is, are we ready to accept them as part of our community? Let’s put ASIMO as an example, a bipedal robot created and  developed by HONDA, who could walk like human, run and climb stairs.  Almost 24 years of experiments and development, ASIMO’s technology is evolving little by little from walking, running, avoiding obstacles and now they are even developing ASIMO’s AI capabilities.  This leads many other robots developing institution and companies in making robots that could help us in our daily living .  I think accepting them as part of our life would motivate developers to continue in researching and perfecting this kind of technology.

Manny people think that robots will dominate us in the future.  Hmmmm.. it only happen in the movie like irobot and terminator. how about you?,…. are you ready?

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U3-X Personal Mobility

Posted on 23 June 2010 by yizhan

Inspired by ASIMO’s balance and walking technology, Honda has build the U3-X  Personal Mobility.  A unique experience of riders and vehicles, the U3-X makes new technology in the advancement of human mobility.

image Derive from ASIMO’s technology of great balance through hard researches by Honda, it provides the U3-X ability to balance and have free movement in all directions, most likely in human walking.  It can analyze what’s the rider intention in terms direction and speed when the riders lean, either forward, backwards and sideways. Speed is then determine by the incline of the U3-X. All this can be control just by shifting your weight.

The U3-X is powered by Honda’s Omni Traction Drive System. It is the first wheelimage technology that enables to move in any direction, consist of multiple small-diameter motored controlled wheels placed in line with each other to form a large-diameter wheel.  By rotating the large wheel it enables the U3-X to move forward and backward while rotating the small-diameter wheel, allows it to move sideways and by combining the rotation of the two wheels, it enables the U3-X to move diagonally.

The body-cover of the U3-X is made of carbon fiber that acts as extra support  frame it also has a fold-able seat and foot rest that you can fold in when not in use.

Specifications:

Height: 25.6 in

Length 12.4 in

Width: 6.3 in

Weight: less than 22 pounds

Battery: Lithium Ion

Operation: 1 Hour

Watch the video below for some demo of the U3-X prototype.


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ASIMO The Humanoid Robot

Posted on 19 June 2010 by yizhan

Advanced Step in Innovative MObility (ASIMO), a humanoid robot that was design by HONDA. ASIMO’s technology has been evolving since 1986, and have done several stages to perfect its function. Well we all know that  mobility is the main stream of honda for their motorcycles, cars and power products.  And this gives them a new challenge in mobility to build a two legged robot the can walk and balanced by it self. The main concept of this research is to be able to build a robot that has more viable mobility to help and live in harmony with people.

ASIMO

Research on human walking

From  1986-1991, First stage of ASIMO’s technology was achieved.  By studying the principles of  two legged locomotion, they have achieved to make their first two legged robot that can walked (the E0 robot). It can do both slow walking and fast walking, During slow walking, the body’s center of gravity remains always centered on the soles of the feet.When body movement is used for smooth, fast walking, the center of gravity is not always on the soles of the feet.  Next step they have done is to research and analyzed the human walking, animal walking and other forms of walking to visualize movement and location of the joints, create a fast walking program and  input it to the robots for experiments. With this several experiments they have manage to achieved a fast walking robot (the E2 robot) with the speed of 1.2km per hour.

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Achieving stable walking

From 1991 – 1993 Honda started the next stage of  ASIMO’s technology by achieving a stable walking.  After achieving the first stage which is the technology of fundamental walking, Honda continues its researches in developing new techniques in stabilized walking and come up with three techniques.

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Three techniques in stabilized walking

These techniques were then applied with several robots and Honda’s E5 robot was the first one to perfect stable walking even on steps or sloping surface

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Creating the humanoid robot

After finishing the technology of the two legged walking robot(the Experimental Models E1 – E6), Honda starts building the prototype models ( P1, P2 and P3) from 1993 – 1997  by attaching arms, body and head to the Experimental Models creating a completely independent humanoid robots.

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Latest  version of ASIMO is 1.2 meter tall and weighs 43 Kg. This size enables ASIMO to perform multi-task like walking, running and pushing cart .  It also has a capability to interact with gestures and has an ability to recognize objects.  It can even learn to avoid obstacles.

All images and some description from this article were gathered from ASIMO’s technical info.

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