fig.: Honda's robot Asimo at the Europe debut on 16 July 2014 in Brussels.
The re-produced human behaviour
...seen at the robot 'Asimo' which serves drinks and plays even football.
In July 2014, Honda presented the latest version of the humanoid robot 'Asimo' for the first time in Europe. The name makes think of science-fiction author Isaac Asimov. But it's not an homage to the writer of the legendary 'Robot'-series (started in the 1930ies); the name is the acronym for 'Advanced Step in Innovative MObility'.
At the same time when Isaac Asimov started to write the SciFi series about robots with 'positronic' brain (a computer), art in the age of mechanical reproduction was one of the themes of philosophers and social researchers. The discussion was strongly influenced by the production of values by (the new) mass media and caused by the technologies of photography, audio (gramophone, radio) and film (cinema). Now almost 100 years after the analogous technology revolution and Isaac Asimov's fictional stories, digital computer technologies have began to imitate the perception, thinking and behaviour of humans. The new digital technologies can even predict human behaviour! We know predicting-technologies from the internet and use them daily (often without knowing it) as assistants at search engines, online fashion shops or in social media streams. 'Human behaviour in the age of digital reproduction' could be the title of a discussion about the development of the value system of today's society.
Honda's latest Asimo version is equipped with better intelligence capability and finger skills than its predecessors (researches started in 1986, first Asimo presented in 2003 in Europe). The new robot has bar keeper qualities! It can open a bottle and fill the beverage into a paper cup, is able to bring the drink (runs forwards) and can go back, climb stairs (up and down), it hops and jumps. Asimo is able to communicate via sign language and adapts the behaviour of its surrounding as it is equipped with decision-making capabilities which work in real-time. It can do so as it calculates future human behaviour (like the way the person will take). It recognizes voices and the faces of three people simultaneously which is - such as it is explained at the video below, difficult for human eyes. Honda transfers the findings of robot research to other products such as walking assistants or machines of MotoGP. Details about Asimo are published on asimo.honda.com/inside-asimo.