Advanced Step In Innovative Mobility (Asimo) is one of a very few robots that can walk reliably on two legs. It's fitted with twin cameras in its head and is powered by 34 individual motors.
Lately, researchers at the Honda Research Institute has demonstrated the invention by using it to move the arms and legs of an Asimo humanoid robot. Honda hopes that by 2020 the robot will be in the market, affordable and capable enough, to help with simple tasks. An elaborate electronic helmet will allow the wearer to control a robot by thought alone.
The person wearing the helmet only have to think about making the movement. Its inventors hope that one day the mind-control technology will allow people to do things like turn air conditioning on or off and open their car boot without putting their shopping down.
The helmet combines two different techniques for picking up activity in the brain. Sensors in the helmet detect electrical signals through the scalp in the same way as a standard electroencephalogram. The scientists combined this with another technique called near-infrared spectroscopy, which can be used to monitor changes in blood flow in the brain.
Brain activity picked up by the helmet is sent to a computer, which uses software to work out which movement the person is thinking about. It then sends a signal to the robot commanding it to perform the move. Typically, it takes a few seconds for the thought to be turned into a robotic action. This is being…