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{published in 2004}

Below is an advertisement for Honda from an old technology magazine (copyright 2002). I have been saying for years that the bridge between occasional and pervasive computer technology is not just quantitative, but qualitative, as in actively compter-controlled peripherals that are capable of interacting with the environment.

I don’t mean a thermostat telling the heater to go on. I mean taking the technology that physically sorts the mail and assembles components in manufacturing to the consumer level – having your computer open and close the garage door, or telling your car to put the hazards on if you’re not back in 60 seconds. In other words, computers that can DO things in the physical world apart from printing and playing MP3s.

And in the end, that means having computers with arms that can manipulate objects above and beyond task-specific automation. And THIS is an example of what I’m talking about.

We’re building a dream, one robot at a time.

The dream was simple. Design a robot that, one day, could duplicate the complexities of human motion and actually help people. An easy task? Hardly. But after more than 15 years of research and development, the result is ASIMO, an advanced robot with unprecedented human-like abilities. ASIMO walks forward and backward, turns corners,

and goes up and down stairs with ease. All with a remarkable sense of strength and balance.

The future of this exciting technology is even more promising. ASIMO has the potential to respond to simple voice commands, recognize faces, carry loads and even push wheeled objects. This means that, one day, ASIMO could be quite useful in some very important tasks. Like assisting the elderly, and even helping with household chores. In essence, ASIMO might serve as another set of eyes, ears and legs for all kinds of people in need.

All of this represents the steps we’re taking to develop products that make our world a better place. And in ASIMO’s case, it’s a giant step in the right direction.

Honda Robot Ad