ASIMO, Honda’s adorable bipedal robot, is a cultural icon. Born way back in 2000, it was originally conceived as a mobility assistant for people with disabilities (ASIMO stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility). The white biped has come a long way since then – learning how to run, jump, and even play soccer.
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Unlike SoftBank’s Pepper, however, ASIMO isn’t for sale. According to a Bloomberg report last year, Honda spends approximately US$50 million a year on its robotic efforts. If ASIMO was ever commercialized, it would likely cost as much – if not more – than one of Honda’s sports cars.
We may never get a chance at ASIMO ownership, but today at the Tokyo Motor Show, Honda was selling huggable ASIMO plushies for just JPY 2,376 (US$19.60). They don’t walk or talk in a high-pitched anime voice, but they do have poseable arms!
And it appears to be giving thumbs up.
I asked a Honda representative if the real ASIMO would make an appearance at this year’s event, but sadly, he said there were no plans to include it.
So I just bought the plush.
It wouldn’t be complete without the backpack (where the real ASIMO stores its batteries).
If you could own any robot, real or fictional, which one would you choose? Tell us below!