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Honda Sees a Robot in Your Future

Techstination feature for Friday, February 15, 2002

The CEO of Honda... .sees a robot in your future. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Honda brought its four foot tall remarkably agile robot Asimo to the United States for the first time... to ring the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange. The million dollar machine can climb stairs and walk in human-like pattern without having to stop to be able to turn. Asimo was accompanied by Honda CEO Hiroyuki Yoshino, who tells us that one day he would like to see robotics become a significant part of his company's business...

"I hope so. But we can't have an exact picture of the future yet." Is your goal to mass produce these? "Not yet." How far away might that be? "Maybe several years from now we will decide what kind of business we are starting."

Honda believes the robots could be of great benefit to people with disabilities. Helping to guide the vision impaired, pushing wheel chairs or answering doors. Twenty of the Asimo robots have been built so far... about their intelligence, Yoshino says... .

"Well maybe a couple years old as a human but as you may know intelligence is growing day after day, so in ten years and twenty years it may exceed our capability."

At the moment, Asimo has a vocabulary of only a couple of hundred words. All of them in Japanese. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.