Human-Shaped Robot Now Smarter, Faster, More Helpful

Honda's Asimo robot can now run faster, balance better on uneven surfaces, hop on one foot and even pour a drink. Some of those skills may allow it help clean up the Fukushima plant.

What's the Latest Development?


Honda's revamped 'Asimo' robot is able to run faster, balance on uneven surfaces, hop on one foot and pour a drink, though not all at the same time. Honda is keen to prove he's not just a glorified toy. Indeed some of his technology was used to develop a robotic arm to help clean up the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant. 

What's the Big Idea?

It wasn't possible to send in Asimo to help out because the robot couldn't maneuver in rubble, and its delicate computer parts would malfunction in radiation. But the new, improved version revealed recently can walk over bumps without falling and jog faster than it did in 2005. By pushing better with its toes, so its run is not so jerky, it has gone from 6 kph (3.7 mph) to 9 kilometers (5.6 mph) per hour.

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
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Cornell engineers create artificial material with 3 key traits of life

An innovation may lead to lifelike self-reproducing and evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
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After death, you’re aware that you’ve died, say scientists

Some evidence attributes a certain neurological phenomenon to a near death experience.

Credit: Petr Kratochvil. PublicDomainPictures.net.
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Time of death is considered when a person has gone into cardiac arrest. This is the cessation of the electrical impulse that drive the heartbeat. As a result, the heart locks up. The moment the heart stops is considered time of death. But does death overtake our mind immediately afterward or does it slowly creep in?

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