'ASIMO,' World's Most Advanced Humanoid Robot, Begins Educational Tour

Will Visit Major U.S. Cities During 15-Month Period

1/28/2003 3:59:00 PM

The world's most advanced humanoid robot launched a North American tour today with a demonstration for science students in midtown Manhattan. The "Say Hello to ASIMO" North American Educational Tour, destined for major cities across the country, will introduce the public to ASIMO and encourage students to study robotics and science. The tour also launches with a new educational Web site and an essay contest where schools can enter to win an exclusive visit from ASIMO.

Following today's launch, the educational tour begins this weekend with ASIMO demonstrations at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, N.J. on Feb. 1 and 2. ASIMO will travel to top science museums, institutions and universities through March 2004, where it will be demonstrated free of charge. ASIMO made its U.S. debut February 14, 2002, when it rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.'s listing on the NYSE.

ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative MObility) was developed by Honda Motor Co., Ltd., a world leader in advanced mobility technology. "Honda has a longstanding commitment to supporting youth, science and education, and we are pleased that this ASIMO tour can further this effort," said Koichi Amemiya, president and CEO of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Honda believes that the ASIMO tour will provide a unique opportunity for students to experience a humanoid robot up close, and that young people who witness ASIMO will be encouraged to study sciences such as math, engineering, physics and computer science.

Honda engineers began developing a humanoid robot in 1986. "ASIMO was created for the purpose of someday helping people in need," said Amemiya. ASIMO can walk forward and backward, turn smoothly without pausing, climb stairs and maintain balance while walking on uneven slopes and surfaces. ASIMO has two arms and two hands, which ease such tasks as reaching for and grasping objects, switching lights on and off or opening and closing doors.

Honda engineers created an advanced humanoid robot able to function in real-world environments after more than 16 years of research and development. "ASIMO began as a dream for Honda engineers, but all engineering starts with basic science," said Amemiya. "We believe that people who are interested and engaged in the study of science from a young age will be inspired to pursue their own dreams."

Web Site and Teacher Resources

The ASIMO North American Educational Tour features an educational Web site, accessible at www.honda.com, where visitors can learn more about robotics and follow ASIMO on tour across North America. In addition, teachers can download classroom materials and parents can find information about robotics-related educational activities for the home.

ASIMO School Essay Contest

The ASIMO North American Educational Tour Web site features a nationwide essay contest that provides a chance for one school in the country to win an exclusive visit from ASIMO in March 2004. The essay contest has been aligned to the Content Standards for California Public Schools - Science, for the fifth through twelfth grades. Information about the essay contest is available at www.honda.com.

Tour Schedule

Tour stops currently include museums in Jersey City, N.J., Chicago, Ill., Birmingham, Ala., Atlanta, Ga., Pittsburgh, Pa., Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Pa., Boston, Mass., Miami, Fla., St. Paul, Minn., Seattle, Wash., San Jose, Calif. and Los Angeles, Calif. For an up-to-the-minute tour schedule and for more information on ASIMO, please visit the ASIMO North American Educational Tour Web site at www.honda.com.

About Honda

Honda is one of the world's leading producers of mobility products including its diverse line-up of automobiles, motorcycles and ATVs, power products, marine engines and personal watercraft. This diverse product line-up has also made Honda the world's preeminent engine-maker, with production of more than 15 million engines globally in 2002. On a global basis, Honda has more than 110 manufacturing facilities in 31 nations.

Honda began operations in North America in 1959 with the establishment of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Honda's first overseas subsidiary. Honda began assembling motorcycles in America in 1979, with U.S. automobile manufacturing starting in 1982. Honda now employs more than 21,000 Americans in the design, manufacture and marketing of its products in America. Honda currently builds products in 11 manufacturing plants in North America, with three major R&D centers in the U.S.