Asimo, world’s most advanced robot, launches Edinburgh Science Festival

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By Oliver Farrimond

THE WORLD’S most advanced robot has officially launched the Edinburgh Science Festival.

More than 7,500 people flocked to McEwan Hall over the weekend to watch the festival’s star attraction, who can walk, run, dance and even play football.

The robot, called Asimo, is the result of more than two decades of research by scientists all over the world, including a team at Edinburgh University.

Sethu Vikayakumar, professor of robotics at Edinburgh University, said that Asimo, which stands for “Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility”, represented a big step
towards a future where robots work alongside humans.

He said: “There are many potential applications for a robot like Asimo – robots could be used in healthcare, in hazardous environments where humans cannot go, and to fight the wars of the future.

“We’ve still got a long way to go with this technology, but as an autonomous humanoid robot Asimo is very exciting.”

The Edinburgh Science Festival, which runs until Sunday 19th April, has entertained more than a million visitors since its inception in 1987.

Simon Gage, director of the festival, said that Asimo was just one of many attractions on show.

He said: “There’s something for everyone, whether you want to unwrap a mummy, participate in a dinosaur dig or attend a Richard Dawkins lecture.

“There really is an awful lot to go and see.”

4 COMMENTS

  1. Hang on. How does the robot know where the steps are? Are you telling me it can see steps? That’s insane.

  2. My Grandaughter (aged 5) took me to the McEwan Hall in Edinburgh to see ASIMO on Sunday 6 April 2009. Unfortunately the show was marred for her by the poor visibility she endured trying to peer over the two rows of the audience in front of her which meant she had to make do with watching a large TV screen behind the stage, and listening to the terrible P.A. audio system which made much of the commentary unintelligble. Why they didn’t place ASIMO up on a platform or stage for the show when they knew that the audience would be mainly comprised of young adults, and and why they didn’t ensure they had a decent P.A. system is beyond comprehension. My recommendation is don’t bother to go and see this show – stay at home and see ASIMO far better on YouTube instead.

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