Asimo, Honda’s adorable, humanoid robot, is no more. The company announced it would cease production of the robot in order to focus on using Asimo’s technology for more practical use cases in nursing and road transport, as reported by Nikkei Asian Review.
Work on Asimo, whose name stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility, first began in the ‘80s and it was eventually unveiled in 2000. The first robot to walk on two legs, Asimo can, among other things, recognize multiple moving objects, determine the distance and direction of the objects, interpret voice commands and human gestures (like a wave or handshake), and autonomously navigate thanks to sensors within its body. It stands at 4 feet, 3 inches tall and weighs 119 pounds, and can operate for an hour off a rechargeable 51.8 V lithium-ion battery.
As far as what’s next for Honda in robotics, the company announced a quartet of new helper robots at CES 2018, comprised of a companion bot, an autonomous off-road vehicle, and two “mobility” concepts, all with similarly non-threatening and cute designs. Other robotics products from Honda include the Uni-Cub, a wheel you sit down on and steer by leaning, and the Walking Assist — a harness that aids in walking. We might not be seeing Asimo’s friendly face anymore, but at least it looks like Honda still wants to carry on its legacy in useful robots that make us go aww.