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Honda shows smarter robot, helps in nuclear crisis

Honda’s famous human-shaped robot now runs faster along with balancing itself on uneven surfaces, pour drinks and even hop on one foot. It can now almost think on its own. Sounds like Honda and Boston Dynamics needs to group up together and create the Six Million Dollar Man.

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Honda President Takanobu Ito told reporters some of Asimo’s technology was used to develop a robotic arm in just six months with the intention of helping with the nuclear crisis in northeastern Japan.

The mechanical arm can open and close valves at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, which went into meltdown after the March tsunami, according to Honda. The automaker is working with the utility behind the problem plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co., to try to meet demands to bring the plant under control.

Ito acknowledged that the first idea was to send in Asimo to help out, but that was not possible because the robot cannot maneuver in rubble, and its delicate computer parts would malfunction in radiation.

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