TECH: Honda develops "Human" robot

Max More (
Fri, 20 Dec 1996 11:20:41 -0700 (MST)

TOKYO (Dec 20, 1996 10:30 a.m. EST) - Japanese carmaker Honda Motor Co. Ltd.
said Friday it had developed the first human-shaped robot which can move
independently and do basic manual tasks.

The result of 10 years of research, the battery-powered robot is six feet
tall, weighs 462 pounds and looks like an astronaut in a space suit.

The robot has an autonomous control process and can walk and go up and down
stairs or slopes without having to have detailed walking instructions input,
Honda said.

It can change directions and correct its balance automatically if pushed,
the company said.

It can also be moved by radio remote control.

Honda said the robot can do various jobs with two hands, making it useful
for tasks that would be dangerous or strenuous for humans.

"The robot has big potential for future use in many fields, for research in
dangerous areas, nursing, and other purposes," executive vice president
Hiroyuki Yoshino said in an interview.

"We intend to continue development to see how we can use this technology for
practical use," said Nobuhiko Kawamoto, Honda's president and chief
executive officer.

Thirty engineers have worked on the development of the robot.