Looking like walking robot ASIMO, is difficult to believe that it is a reality, not a new episode of “Star Wars”.

In 2004, ASIMO received an honorable place in the Hall of Fame Robots “as the first real humanoid robot. “Robot Hall of Fame” was created at Carnegie Mellon University to celebrate the outstanding achievements of robotics.

Honda ASIMO RobotAt the Moscow International Motor Show, we met a man who has a driver’s license extremely rare category – to manage the most advanced to date, a humanoid robot ASIMOV (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility), developed by Honda. To qualify as an experienced engineer Serge divide within three weeks of 10 hours a day to give a detailed control mechanical humanoids, and then passed difficult tests under strict surveillance robot developers. After an impressive show, which ASIMO revealed to viewers under the supervision of Serge divide and three other operators, Serge told us the parts of a great robot, and why Honda engineers took as much as 15 years to teach the machine going.

Art walk
At first glance, a two-legged robot that can move like a human, not so difficult: it is enough simply to record human motion and force the machine to repeat them. In fact, the process of movement of people is much harder than we are used to represent him. In walking involves not only the legs and arms, shoulders, back, neck and even head, which move synchronously and help maintain balance. Surface Condition and its position in space, people continuously monitors using multiple senses: the eoliths and semicircular canals of the inner ear (vestibular system) are responsible for linear and angular acceleration, the feeling tension in the muscles of said person about the current state of the limbs and their rate of movement (considered that in the human brain is the so-called model of the body); subtle tactile sensations in the feet create a picture of the nature of the surface under their feet.

The length and direction of step change in acceleration, braking, cornering. A person on an unconscious level planning their movements for a few steps forward. At the same time, if something goes wrong (stumbled over, put his foot on the inclined surface), stride length and position of the body will be instantly adjusted to keep him from falling. Thus, walking is a complex mix of planning and continuous monitoring of the situation, and every step of the man is unique.

The complex processes occurring in our mind while walking, invisible to us, they occur on the instinctive level. Therefore, the study of algorithms rights movement was a challenge.

Tin Soldier

The main model for the development of ASIMO served as the human skeleton. Precision servomotors provide the robot motion to 26 degrees of freedom: two of them reserved for the movement of the head, six on each arm and leg. Legs ASIMO move as freely as a man: during the show, even danced the robot rock ‘n’ roll. Servomotors rotate on a strictly defined the angles at a certain speed, so the robot can be as sharp and surprisingly smooth. Three Pillars of stability ASIMO – a control surface, control the center of mass and control the situation. The first is provided by a force sensor, mounted in the robot’s feet. They help to feel the slope surface or unexpectedly encountered in the obstacle and adjust the position of the feet. The robot can walk on the planes with a gradient up to 300 and with difficult terrain. The control center of mass correspond to the acceleration sensors and gyroscopes.

For example, if the robot feels that his body leans forward faster than planned, it will make the next step is wider and prevent the fall. «ASIMO can suddenly push, he put his foot and catches the balance and will remain on his feet, – says Serge divide – but the audience we have, of course, not talk about it.

Each motor has a feedback sensor, which tells ASIMO, at what angle will turn a particular joint. The electronic brain of the robot to recreate its exact three-dimensional model – that is monitoring the situation. Accurate actuator allows ASIMO to climb and descend the stairs. So far, so that the robot moved the ladder, the operator must inform him the length of the span and the number of steps. Currently, developers are taught ASIMO to recognize the ladder with the help of eye-camera, take a step and define their own height.

The main feature that distinguishes ASIMO from other two-legged robots – the ability to change direction, without reducing speed. To turn the corner, predecessors ASIMO required to stop, unnatural way to rotate on the spot, and then start moving in a new direction. ASIMO turns in the same way as a person: slightly tilted in the direction of rotation and makes the next step in a new direction.

Speed ASIMO reaches 1.6 km / h. With good visibility of the robot in advance planning your route to the crackdown, deceleration and turns, but in the event of an unexpected obstacle is ready to stop or change the trajectory.

Ability to walk like a human does not limit opportunities for the robot. ASIMO can run the latest model at a speed of 6 km / h, taking from the land both feet simultaneously, and even perform on the run “snake”.

My friend android
Of course, walking on two legs is not the only way to move the slope and stairs. Modern robotic engineers can easily overcome any obstacles on the tracks and off-quality four-legged Big Dog by Boston Dynamics company greatly exceed ASIMO. Why do the Japanese have spent 15 years in the creation of an android? As planned by Honda ASIMO was created in order to live among people and help them. Agree, crawler tractor or mechanical spider walking across the building with the request would be perceived by people as something alien and even dangerous. ASIMO is understandable, predictable and extremely friendly.

Growth ASIMO (122 cm) selected so that the android does not look threatening, but can perform various functions. The head of the robot is at eye level of an adult sitting in a desk chair. Max lowered his hand, ASIMO can take a newspaper or a cup of coffee with a low coffee table, and lifting, can reach the lighting switch.

ASIMO’s predecessors had growth adult and higher. Make a small robot has been very difficult, because it was necessary to maintain the aspect ratio of height and weight android. ASIMO weighs less than 52 kg due to application of the lightest and most durable materials. The heaviest part robot – Nigh Battery – weighs only 7.7 kg. A fully charged battery provides 30 minutes of continuous operation. Interestingly, only 30% of energy consumed servo drives, the remaining 70% consume electronic brain ASIMO, located in the knapsack on his back. Recent versions of ASIMO equipped with modern lithium-ion batteries.

ASIMO – very sociable robot. “If you saw ASIMO at least once, the next time he gets to know you and greet, – says Serge divide. – Using two video cameras built into the robot’s head, he sees three-dimensional image can determine the distance to objects, recognize the gestures of people. ” ASIMO learns of his friends by his voice. Since the robot can chat or ask him for help: he understands dozens of simple questions and commands in English and Japanese languages.

Serve the people!
Currently, ASIMO often can be found on the exhibition show. In the difficult conditions of the exhibition a significant part of communication and motor abilities of the robot have to disable it. Virtually all elements of the show carefully programmed and run by the operator. The operator should be hidden from the audience, so the scene he had to watch the monitor.

The robot is controlled from a computer using a complex program. In addition to running the program elements in the operator’s duties include continuous monitoring of multiple parameters of the robot – the readings of sensors, position actuators, voltage in electrical circuits, the operating temperature of elements and many others. Can not relax for a second. In case of technical problems behind the scenes has always hidden the robot understudy. There is also a quick way to control ASIMO – with a remote control that resembles dzhoypad from PlayStation. It is rarely used, because, firstly, requires absolute visibility, which is sometimes unavailable, and secondly, to limit the ability of the robot, making it a simple radio-toy.

In Honda’s research studio created all the conditions that ASIMO could fully move and interact with people literally live a full life. ASIMO is constantly learning new skills.

In the future he will be able to execute the instructions in the office, helping with household chores for the elderly and disabled, to extinguish fires, to work with hazardous chemicals into the environment unfit for human life. «ASIMO one can become the eyes, ears, hands and feet for all those who need it” – the company believes Honda.

Frankly, when we first met with ASIMO, we were confident that the robot is named in honor of Isaac Asimov. The famous science fiction first formulated the laws of robotics, according to which the robots should serve and help people, and not to rebel, to fight and fight for independence. And ASIMO to a greater extent than any other robot, corresponds Äcem principles. However, as told to us Serge divide in Japan Asimov did not know. Simply asi in Japanese means “foot”.

For a slightly frivolous appearance ASIMO hiding latest advances in modern technology

With two cameras built into the robot’s head, he sees the three-dimensional image can determine the distance to objects, recognize the gestures of people. If ASIMO saw you once, the next time he gets to know you and greet. Robot equipped with voice recognition. He can talk or ask for help: he understands dozens of simple questions and commands in English and Japanese languages.


It was hidden the most difficult part robot – Nickel-Metal Hydride battery. Such an arrangement of 7,7-kilogram battery contributes most to the natural distribution of the masses.

Growth ASIMO (122 cm) allows it to perform various functions, being surrounded by people. The new design allows the shoulder joints to raise their hands on 1050, to reach to highly placed objects such as light switches. His hands are gripping power 0,5 kg – enough to keep most items, but not enough to accidentally harm the person.

The main feature of ASIMO, which distinguishes it from other two-legged robots – the ability to change direction, without reducing speed. The speed of the robot reaches 1.6 km / h. ASIMO can run the latest model at a speed of 6 km / h, taking from the land both feet simultaneously, and even perform on the run “snake”.

In the knapsack, located behind ASIMO, is its electronic brain. Sophisticated electronics consume 70% of battery power, and only 30% for servo drives.

Pedigree ASIMO
1986. E0 able to walk straight on a flat surface. In one step the robot was required to 5-20
1991. E3 has learned to walk on uneven and sloping surfaces at a speed of 1.2 km / h
1991 E4: robot control systems began to acquire the surface, the center of mass and position
1993. E6 is able not only beautiful to walk on the complex topography, but also to move on stairs
1994. The first robot is Honda with the body and arms had increased 191 cm, weighed 175 kg and looked scary
1996. P2 as much weight by up to 210 kg, but learned to keep a balance with a strong jolt.
1997. Robot 1997 P3 was much smaller (157 cm), lighter (130 kg), sustainable and humane

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