The world's first walking humanoid robot is set to make its office debut in 2006 as a receptionist, Honda announced on Tuesday. The latest version of Honda’s Asimo robot will be starting its new job in April at a Honda office in Wako in Saitama prefecture north of Tokyo.
The prototype, unveiled in Tokyo, can guide guests to a meeting room, serve coffee on a tray and push a cart with a load of up to 10 kilograms, says Honda.
Compared with its predecessor, the new model has doubled its running speed to six kilometres (3.7 miles) per hour and can now run in a circle and zigzag.
"The level of Asimo's capability was just good enough to entertain people on the stage in the past, but the new Asimo can work at places closer to us," says Satoshi Shigemi, the Honda official in charge of the robot's development.
"The new Asimo can perform the task of a receptionist or information guide automatically," Shigemi told a news conference. "Honda is aiming to create a humanoid robot that can help people and live together with people."