Smarter Honda ASIMO Can Self-Charge, Avoid People, Work In Groups

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Click to viewWhen scientists in some bunker in the year 2525 are trying to determine when humanity handed over the keys to the robot overlords, December 11, 2007, may be a good date, for on this day, Honda announced it had given its ASIMO servant robots three key abilities. Here we break them down, and provide a "Future Shock" analysis of each:

• Autonomous battery charging - Honda developed a Borg-like charging bay for ASIMO. When the robot's battery level drops to a certain point, it seeks out the closest bay.

Future Shock: Seeking a power source is the first step towards domination, Coppertop.

• Avoiding oncoming people - ASIMO sees an oncoming person through its eye camera, judges its inertia, guesses its speed and path, then either changes course to steer clear, or simply takes a step back.

Future Shock: If they're taught subservience, they start questioning their predestined role. Also, doesn't this sound a lot like targeting?

• Working together - This involves constant sharing of relevant data between networked ASIMOs, and a survey of which robot is closest to the most pressing task, and what his battery life status is. Among them, they "decide" which one is best suited to go in and do the job.

Future Shock: If I have to explain to you why robots working together could be a bad thing, well, you're probably already dead. [Honda]