Honda is retiring Asimo, its humanoid robot research program, the Nikkei Asian Review reports. Asimo’s 18-year career included many dazzling public demonstrations of its dexterity and balance, and such highlights as:
1. Meeting the real-life performer behind the Star Wars cyborg C-3PO.
2. Conducting the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (after presenting an award to cellist Yo-Yo Ma).
3. Kicking a soccer ball to then-President Barack Obama.
4. Climbing stairs.
6. Pouring and serving drinks.
The company never was able to commercialize the robot but said last week that the technologies that went into successive generations of Asimo robots are being adapted for Honda’s mass-produced products and that the company continues research into humanoid robots as “an essential element” of its effort to help people “expand their life’s potential.”