Machine Design

Robot walks the walk

Wind River's VxWorks real-time operating system controls all aspects of ASIMO's movement, including the complex task of walking upright.

Taking a peek beneath ASIMO's lightweight magnesium alloy skin reveals an intricate network of servomotors.

The ASIMO robot (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility) from Honda of Japan is a twolegged walking robot that looks, acts, and someday will react like a real person.

The VxWorks real-time embedded operating system from Wind River, Alameda, Calif., controls all robot functions.

Weighing in at 115 lb and standing 4-ft tall, ASIMO can walk about 1 mph. A series of servomotors control movement and continually adjust for the angle and terrain of the walking surface. Vx-Works also controls wireless data transmission, a camera, and a host of gyroscopes and sensors.

Plans call for ASIMO to do simple household chores or to perform tasks in hazardous chemical or nuclear environments.

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