What is ASIMO?
Being an assistant to people was the idea in mind when ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative MObility) was being created. ASIMO, which is 4’ 3" or rather 130 centimeters tall, is a perfect helper in and around a house and can also help a person who is restricted to bed or a wheel chair. The size of this robot makes it easier to directly communicate with a person who is either sitting on his/her bed or a chair.
Actually ASIMO is an extremely stylish piece of equipment, technically speaking. As a marketing tool, ASIMO is creating a sensation, assuring a volley of news reporting with each promotion stunt. Honda had in mind selling units as domestic servants when they actually brought out the robot in 2002.
A robot having the capability to walk up and down stairs, clasp objects, and work together with humans looks like an ideal fit for elderly care. Six years later the cost of Asimo still remains at more than $100,000 to rent. The human roboid has not yet made anyone's bed and constitutes just the most recent in a chain of letdowns for future household bots. So with what Asimo can and cannot do, the question is when will this robot get a job?
Isaac Asimov's "Three Laws of Robotics" states that:
- A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
- A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
- A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
A key factor of Asimov’s Three Laws is that they are changeless. He actually anticipated a robot brain of huge complexity that could only be created by humans at the mathematical level. Consequently, the Three Laws are not in the textual form demonstrated above, but were programmed in mathematical terms straight into the center of the robot brain. This programming could not alter in any important way during the course of the robot’s life. Asimov had actually assumed that a robot would be programmed with all things it required to operate before its activation.
Thus the name ASIMO can be easily associated with Asimov, the iconic science-fiction writer who visualized intelligent humanoid robots in his tales and was the first to establish the three laws of robotics, controlling human-machine interactions.