Latest & Greatest: March 2003 Page 2
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New First Mate
By Capt. Patrick Sciacca — March 2003
Want to hire a crew member who doesn't want to eat, sleep, or take a break? Well, now you can. His name is Asimo, and he may be available for hire on your yacht's next cruise.
Developed by Honda, this 3'9" round-faced robot is available for rental (currently in Japan only) for a measly $162,000 annually. Several companies have already put the little tyke to work. Asimo reportedly can interpret postures and gestures of humans and respond with independent movement. Point, and he'll go. Asimo's face-recognition programming--the face and names have to be registered first--allows him to greet people by name. You can even use Asimo for connecting to the Internet while he's doing grip-and-grins in the saloon.
Although Asimo's programming enables him to recognize immobile objects in his way, he can't swim, so tying off lines is out of the question. But he does have a good handshake. Now, how about a milkshake?
Honda Motor Phone: (81) 3 3423-1111. www.world.honda.com/robot.
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This article originally appeared in the March 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.