Honda’s Asimo can Now Move Like Us thanks to Kinect

You’ve seen Asimo before, the Honda humanoid that can walk and climb stairs. He’s also one of the world’s most recognized humanoid robots. Asimo now has the ability to learn new tricks thanks to Microsoft’s Kinect. Scientist at Honda Research Institute in Mountain View, California, have programed the robot to take visual information from the Kinect and re-create the information in real life movements.

Victor Ng-Thow-Hing, Behzad Dariush, and colleagues work with Asimo seeking to develop robotics technologies that can assist people, especially in terms of mobility. This new type of software that they have created, uses a kinematics approach to generate control commands to make Asimo move. Thanks to this new type of software, the robot does not have any self collisions and excessive joint motions that can actually damage the robot and the integrated software. When a robot needs to perform an operation, it needs to follow a series of pre-programed commands. However, when they attach the Kinect software, the comands are cut down in half, now the robot doesn’t need to follow commands from a programmed chip, instead, the robot is given one simple command: copy what I am doing.

The researchers say that the ability of mimicking a person in real time could find applications in robot programming and interactive teleoperation, among other things. If they perfect this type of technology, maybe someday we’ll be able to control our own robot in the real world. We’ll just have to sit in a room and get our robot to work for us. Thanks to Nissan, we may be able to even drive our robot to work with our mere thought. Other things are space exploration, rescue missions, battle field applications, the applications for this are endless. Read more about this story at [Gizmodo]