Runners Watch Out, ASIMO is Catching Up

I am standing in Jerusalem and it is magnificent.  A three thousand year capital of the Jewish people and birth place for three major religions.  It is finally unified under a tolerant rule and it is time to celebrate.  Yes, this coming March 16th you can run around the city in their first Marathon.  They just opened the sign up, sheet so click here to register.   

You think your fast, well ASIMO is catching up.  ASIMO, acronym for “Advanced Step in Innovative MObility, was created by Honda’s in Japan.  ASIMO looks like a 10 year kid, with human-like movement.  This robot has 7 DOF (Degrees of freedom) in each arm — two joints of 3 DOF, shoulder and wrist, giving “Six degrees of freedom” and 1 DOF at the elbow; 6 DOF in each leg — 3 DOF at the crotch, 2 DOF at the ankle and 1 DOF at the knee; and 3 DOF in the neck joint. The hands have 2 DOF — 1 DOF in each thumb and 1 in each finger. This gives a total of 34 DOF in all joints. The real question is cost, which Honda refuses to answer.  As of February 2009, there are over 100 ASIMO units in existence.

While reproducing a human-like walk is an amazing achievement, ASIMO can now run at speeds up to 3.7 miles per hour (6 kilometers per hour). In order to qualify as a true running robot, ASIMO must have both feet off the ground for an instant in each step. ASIMO manages to be airborne for .08 seconds with each step while running.   ASIMO now has competition with MABEL, who is the world’s fastes Robot at 6 miles per hour, click for the video tape.  The time will come when we need to decide who is faster – man or robot.  Until then, let’s celebrate our lead!

<!–VIDEO: ASIMO_Run_Leg_Closeup from Press Kit–>

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