As one of the biggest manufacturers in the world, you’d expect Honda to concentrate most of their efforts on car production, wouldn’t you? Well, not quite. Aside from just producing cars, Honda is actually famous for a huge range of mechanical creations, ranging from the conventional to the downright bizarre.
Honda Motor Company, to give it its official name, is far more than just a car manufacturer. If you’ve seen their famous and fabulous “Impossible Dream”, you’ll know that they’re involved in everything from motorcycles (where they’ve actually competed in 60 Grand Prix constructors' championships), through to power generators, marine engines and alternative fuels.
But one thing that the company is also famous for is robotics – and this is where their creativity and innovation has really shone through. Here are some of Honda’s lesser known innovations:
ASIMO (which stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility) is perhaps the most human-looking robot ever to be produced on such a scale. If you think of The Stig, you’re along the right lines.
ASIMO is used to encourage young people and those with mobility problems to study science and mathematics. At 4’3” tall, ASIMO has been designed to work in “real world environments”.
ASIMO, who was originally developed in 2000, has since been seen at Disneyland, conducting an orchestra, playing football, being a waiter to Stephen Fry and dancing with Jo Brand.
UNI-CUB The UNI-CUB is Honda’s crack at “personal mobility”. In essence, it’s a Segway with a saddle. Using dynamos to maintain balance, the UNI-CUB, is designed to be as nimble as walking, makes it possible to dash your way through packed city centres. You can even control it with your smartphone.
Honda has made ride-on mowers before, but those still require some effort. Why not let a robot do it, with the Honda Miimo – a robotic lawnmower that trims your lawn for you?
The Miimo was unveiled just this week and is designed to just be let loose on your lawn a few times each week. Sensors prevent it from running off or ploughing into the bird table.
But even if you can't have a piece of the top-of-the-range Honda technology in your home, you can still benefit from their excellent cars with a Honda Accord or maybe a Honda Insight – just have a look at the range of used Hondas right here on Motors for some ideas!