2 of 903 DOCUMENTS
The Toronto Star
January 8, 2004 Thursday Ontario Edition
A GO GO
Mark Battiston, Toronto Star
PLANET; Pg. P08
"Getting to meet him and dancing with him was the best!"
"I liked everything about
These responses from Elana, 11, and Andrea, 10, described the audience's response after the show.
is a humanoid robot developed by Honda's scientists and engineers. It took them 17 years to design and create
. Special exhibits with
demonstrations took place in the fall at the Ontario Science Centre.
stands for "Activated Step in Innovative Mobility," whose name emphasizes all its skills in movement.
do many things, including turning while walking and climbing up stairs, which most of his prototypes could not do.
We were amazed as we watched
walk, talk, dance, turn and climb stairs on stage.
could do all these
things because he has 26 degrees of motion. That means that he can move 26 different parts: two on the neck, six on
each arm and six on each leg.
He weighs 52 kg (115 lbs) and is four feet tall, making him the ideal height to be eye to eye for a human sitting down.
An operator controls his movements with a laptop backstage. He is made of magnesium covered by a thin plastic. He
has four fingers and a thumb on each hand.
During the presentation, the hostess, Suzanne, played a game with three kids. They had three challenges. The first chal-
lenge was multiple-choice trivia, which focused on
technology. As each participant got his or her choices,
would nod yes or no to each answer behind the hostess' back. It was very funny and it was also a very enter-
taining way of learning about
technology. The next activity was to follow all of
He did the hula; he danced to disco and a traditional dance from Thailand. The last challenge was a balancing act.
would have to stand on one foot longer than anyone else.
was the best at this; he balanced on one foot
without stumbling or moving. The kids were thrilled to receive an
T-shirt for participating.
So how does
fit into the future? Today, robots are used in industry to complete various technical tasks, they
can communicate intelligently, they can feel and they can move with great mobility.
After the show, I spoke to Stephen Keeney, a member of
operation and demonstration team. He commented
that in the future, a robot like
could help the elderly or disabled with various tasks. They might work on a wa-
terproof robot to work underwater or a fireproof robot to put out fires. Robots like
could also be used to clean
up dangerous and hazardous waste.
I thought that