Honda designing new ASIMO-style robot for disaster response

An article published on October 13th, 2015 in Extreme Tech, http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/216188-honda-designing-new-asimo-style-robot-for-disaster-response, states that Honda is developing a new version of their ASIMO robot that could be useful in dangerous settings to help keep humans out of harm’s way. The current ASIMO robot is arguably the most advanced robot in the world, so why didn’t Honda put their robots into action during the Fukushima nuclear disaster? It wasn’t the cost of the robots, it was that ASIMO would have essentially been useless in that situation. At the point ASIMO was not capable of navigating the chaotic environment of a damaged nuclear reactor. Because of this, Honda has already began working on prototype disaster robots that can negotiate obstacles and climb ladders. A humanoid robot, such as ASIMO, is vastly more useful than other types of robots in a dangerous setting, because there is going to be ladders, stairs, doors, and walkways that other types of robots would not be able to navigate. As of now, there is no target for when the disaster robot will be ready for action. But either way, this is a great example of how robotics is changing the way things have traditionally been done.

Do you think that disaster response robots could really be effective? How long will it take Honda to develop a fully functional disaster response robot?

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