Honda’s Robots Offer a Human Touch


In teasing their offerings for the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show next month in Las Vegas, Honda offered a look at four of their latest robots.

Known primarily as a vehicle and small engine manufacturer, these latest developments from Honda seem to reinforce how trends in transportation, mobility, and connectivity are expanding in influence.

The robots are being introduced as part of Honda’s 3E (Empower, Experience, Empathy) Robotics Concept for showcasing unique robotic technologies with numerous applications.

First, the A18 looks to be a collaborative or companion robot with uses that could range from office administration to plant floor safety or other environments where the robot’s ability to demonstrate facial expressions might offer a higher level of comfort in working with or taking direction from a robot.

The B18 seems to mesh Dean Kamen’s Segway and a motorized Rascal that could offer greater freedom for those with physical mobility challenges.

The smaller, wheeled C18 seems like a perfect fit in hospitals, warehouses, or plant floors to use for transporting anything from parts to medical supplies.

But perhaps the most eye-catching model is the D18, which reminds me of the battery-operated Stomper trucks I used to play with as a kid. This grown-up version could be used for hauling a variety of medical, construction, or remote monitoring equipment to and from locations – regardless of the geography.

While the options are seemingly endless, the technology attached to these robots appears to offer stepping stones for improving Honda’s driverless vehicle platform.

By improving the human comfort level and growing robot adoption levels in various walks of life, the step to a driverless car might not seem as daunting.

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