New robot 'steered by human thought': Honda

Mar 31, 2009
Honda Reseach Institute president Yasuhisa Arai (L) and Mitsuo Kawato, Japan's ATR computational Neuroscience Laboratories director, stand next to a brain-machine interface, equipped with special headgear to measure slight electrical current and blood flow change occuring in the brain, at Japanese auto giant Honda's headquarters in Tokyo.

Japan's Honda said Tuesday it had developed a robot steered by human thought, thanks to a helmet-like device that measures a person's brain activity and sends signals to the machine.

The latest version of ASIMO -- the celebrity of Honda Motor Co. that can already dance, run and guide guests through an office floor -- has now been fitted with a so-called "brain machine interface" (BMI), the company said.

The state-of-the-art technology means the can perform four basic movements with its arms, legs and tongue based on the non-verbal instructions a person sends to it by concentrating on performing the action themselves.

"By only imagining moving their right hand, for example, a test person can move ASIMO's right hand," said one of the scientists involved, Tatsuya Okabe of the Honda Research Institute Japan.

"The accuracy of a movement depends on the test person and whether that person is good at concentrating."

ASIMO can perform the motions correctly in 90.6 percent of cases -- a record in the field of BMI technology -- the scientists told a Tokyo news conference, where they showed video footage of the experiment.

The research aims to create a robot which can help people with house-keeping chores such as serving dishes or watering plants.

The project is jointly run with the state-backed Advanced Research Institute International and precision-equipment manufacturer Shimadzu Corp.

"What we are doing is still basic research, but we are working on the dream of commercialising it," said Yasuhisa Arai, president of the Honda Research Institute. "But there is still a very long way to go before commercialisation."

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Future US Navy: Robotic sub-hunters, deepsea pods

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Mickey Welcomes ASIMO To Disneyland's 50th Anniversary

Jun 06, 2005

Mickey Mouse welcomed ASIMO to a new home in the Honda ASIMO Theater, inside Disneyland park. Guests visiting the popular Innoventions attraction at the park can now see ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative ...

ATR, Honda Develop New Brain-Machine Interface

May 24, 2006

Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR) and Honda Research Institute Japan Co. (HRI) have collaboratively developed a new “Brain Machine Interface” (BMI) for manipulating robots ...

ASIMO Robot to Conduct the Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Apr 24, 2008

ASIMO will focus attention on the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's (DSO) nationally acclaimed music programs for young people in Detroit by conducting the orchestra as it performs "Impossible Dream" to open a ...

Honda Reveals Technologies Next-Generation ASIMO

Dec 16, 2004

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced the development of new technologies for the next-generation ASIMO humanoid robot, targeting a new level of mobility that will better enable ASIMO to function and interact ...

Honda says to open bio-ethanol research centre

Feb 26, 2009

Japan's Honda Motor Co., seeking a boost in the race to build greener automobiles, said Thursday it would open a research centre to develop and produce bio-ethanol fuel from non-edible plant matter.

Recommended for you

Future US Navy: Robotic sub-hunters, deepsea pods

22 hours ago

The robotic revolution that transformed warfare in the skies will soon extend to the deep sea, with underwater spy "satellites," drone-launching pods on the ocean floor and unmanned ships hunting submarines.

Festo has BionicANTs communicating by the rules for tasks

Mar 27, 2015

Germany-based automation company Festo, focused on technologies for tasks, turns to nature for inspiration, trying to take the cues from how nature performs tasks so efficiently. "Whether it's energy efficiency, ...

Virtual robotization for human limbs

Mar 26, 2015

Recent advances in computer gaming technology allow for an increasingly immersive gaming experience. Gesture input devices, for example, synchronise a player's actions with the character on the screen. Entertainment ...

Robots on reins could be the 'eyes' of firefighters

Mar 25, 2015

Researchers at King's College London have developed revolutionary reins that enable robots to act like guide dogs, which could enable that firefighters moving through smoke-filled buildings could save vital ...

Robot revolution will change world of work

Mar 24, 2015

Robots will fundamentally change the shape of the workforce in the next decade but many industries will still need a human touch, a QUT Future of Work Conference has heard.

User comments : 5

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

ScottyB
1 / 5 (1) Mar 31, 2009
hmmm so you could kill some one with this robot an dthere woudl be no trace to you//.....

Sound too perfect
Bob_Kob
1 / 5 (1) Mar 31, 2009
So you are basically remote controlling the robot to wash the dishes... you might as well do it yourself.
LariAnn
1 / 5 (1) Mar 31, 2009
This would be great for a paraplegic, quadriplegic, or for temporarily disabled people who would not be able to "do it themselves". If you can think the movements and get the robot to do them, then you can have help around the house without needing a real person there all the time.
alexakesson
not rated yet Mar 31, 2009
This is heading in a direction I like, with the eventuality of remote access to the internet and maneuverability in cyberspace.
Suzu
1 / 5 (1) Mar 31, 2009
Wont be making direct interface ala matrix be a better idea?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.