The world's most advanced humanoid robot launched a North American tour this week with a demonstration for science students in midtown Manhattan. The "Say Hello to ASIMO" North American Educational Tour, destined for major cities across the country, will introduce the public to ASIMO and encourage students to study robotics and science.
The tour also launches with a new educational Web site and an essay contest where schools can enter to win an exclusive visit from ASIMO. Following today's launch, ASIMO will travel to top science museums, institutions and universities through March 2004, where it will be demonstrated free of charge.
ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative MObility) was developed by Honda Motor Co, Ltd, a world leader in advanced mobility technology. "Honda has a longstanding commitment to supporting youth, science and education, and we are pleased that this ASIMO tour can further this effort," said Koichi Amemiya, President and CEO of American Honda Motor Co, Inc. Honda believes that the ASIMO tour will provide a unique opportunity for students to experience a humanoid robot up close, and that young people who witness ASIMO will be encouraged to study sciences such as mathematics, engineering, physics and computer science.
Honda engineers began developing a humanoid robot in 1986. "ASIMO was created for the purpose of someday helping people in need," said Amemiya. ASIMO can walk forward and backward, turn smoothly without pausing, climb stairs and maintain balance while walking on uneven slopes and surfaces. ASIMO has two arms and two hands, which ease such tasks as reaching for and grasping objects, switching lights on and off or opening and closing doors.
Honda engineers created an advanced humanoid robot able to function in real-world environments after more than 16 years of research and development. "ASIMO began as a dream for Honda engineers, but all engineering starts with basic science," said Amemiya. "We believe that people who are interested and engaged in the study of science from a young age will be inspired to pursue their own dreams."
The ASIMO North American Educational Tour features an educational Web site, accessible at www.honda.com , where visitors can learn more about robotics and follow ASIMO on tour across North America. In addition, teachers can download classroom materials and parents can find information about robotics-related educational activities for the home.
Honda is one of the world's leading producers of mobility products including its diverse line-up of cars, motorcycles and ATVs, power products, marine engines and personal watercraft. This diverse product line-up has also made Honda the world's pre-eminent engine-maker, with production of more than 15 million engines globally in 2002. Honda has more than 110 manufacturing facilities in 31 nations. The ASIMO robot is scheduled to come to Europe during 2003.
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