Honda has unveiled a new version of its lovable Asimo robot today, bestowing new abilities and new robotic intelligence on the automaton. The biggest new innovation is Asimo's ability to move without being directly controlled by an operator, including more advanced "postural balancing capability which enables the robot to maintain its posture by putting out its leg in an instant" should it begin to fall off balance — Honda has even demonstrated the robot hopping on one foot, and the new Asimo runs at nine kilometers per hour.
In addition to a smarter and more capable set of legs and a 6kg lighter frame, Honda has given Asimo a more dextrous set of fingers, with which it can use sign language and pour juice into a paper cup without spilling the liquid or crushing the cup. Asimo is able to distinguish those objects using both visual and tactile sensors. In total, the new bot has 57 degrees of freedom, 23 more than the previous Asimo.
Finally, Honda has made Asimo a bit more human-friendly, giving it the ability to recognize different people by combining both voice and face recognition — even if different people are speaking simultaneously.
Below, find five videos of the new Asimo in action and a full gallery of photos.