Technological developments achieved whilst making the latest ASIMO robot will cross over to Honda's manufacturing plants, the company said today.

The new generation of humanoid robot, launched yesterday (13 December), has improved physical and office-based capabilities, Honda claims. And, Honda UK spokesman Steve Kirk told just-auto: "We are making huge improvements in this area and a lot of this progress crosses over and directly relates to motoring technology.

"We will continue to invest in robotics, as we have for the past 20 years, and this can only help both areas."

Honda hopes that various technological achievements made during the development of ASIMO, including posture control, image and voice recognition and technologies to anticipate and avoid collisions, can be applied to automotive safety technology and other areas.

The second generation of ASIMO, which is an abbreviation of 'advanced step innovative mobility', can walk with a person while holding hands, carry objects using a cart, perform the tasks of a receptionist or information guide and perform delivery services.

The robot is now capable of running at a speed of 3.7mph - double the previous model - and also running in a circular pattern. 

Honda will begin operating this new ASIMO in spring 2006, at its Wako Building office. The new ASIMO will also gradually be made available to lease.