ASIMO is a humanoid robot created by Honda. Standing at 130 centimeters (4 feet 3 inches) and weighing 54 kilograms (119 pounds), the robot resembles a small astronaut wearing a backpack and can walk or run on two feet at speeds up to 6 km/h (3.7 mph), matching Hitachi’s EMIEW.
ASIMO was created at Honda’s Research & Development Wako Fundamental Technical Research Center in Japan. It is the current model in a line of twelve that began in 1986 with E0. ASIMO resembles a child in size and is the most human-like robot HONDA has made so far. The robot has 7 DOF (Degrees of freedom) in each arm — two joints of 3 DOF, shoulder and wrist, giving “Six degrees of freedom” and 1 DOF at the elbow; 6 DOF in each leg — 3 DOF at the crotch, 2 DOF at the ankle and 1 DOF at the knee; and 3 DOF in the neck joint. The hands have 2 DOF — 1 DOF in each thumb and 1 in each finger. This gives a total of 34 DOF in all joints. Honda will not confirm how much it costs.
The name is an acronym for “Advanced Step in Innovative MObility”. Online magazine, The Future Of Things (TFOT), states that Honda did not name the robot in reference to science fiction writer and inventor of the Three Laws of Robotics, Isaac Asimov.The name ASIMO is also a pun meaning “feet, too”. (ashi) is commonly translated as “feet” but can also refer to the lower leg from the knee down and モ (mo) is a particle meaning “also” or “too”, thus ASIMO roughly translated can mean “it has feet, too” as is appropriate for a robot with legs. The transliteration “asimo” uses the Kunrei system of romanization rather than the more familiar Hepburn system of romanization which renders it as “ashimo”. In both cases it should be pronounced “ah she moh” to match the original Japanese pronunciation. Americans usually pronouce it “ah zi moh”, but both ways will work properly.