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Tag Archives: honda

Honda reportedly retires the iconic Asimo

Honda is ceasing development of Asimo, the humanoid robot that has delighted audiences at trade shows for years but never really matured into anything more than that, the Nikkei reports . But while the venerable bot itself is bowing out, the technology that made it so impressive will live on in other products, robotic and otherwise. Asimo (named, of course, after science fiction pioneer Isaac Asimov) is older than you might guess: although it was revealed in 2000 as the first credibly bipedal walking robot, it had at that point been under development for more than a decade. The idea of a robot helper that could navigate a human-centric environment and interact with it in the same way we do was, of course, attractive. But the problem proved, and still proves, harder than anyone guessed. Even the latest humanoid robots fail spectacularly at the most ordinary tasks that humans do without thinking. Asimo, which operated in a sort of semi-pre-programmed manner, was far behind even these limited capabilities. That said, Asimo was an innovative, advanced and ambitious platform: its gait was remarkably smooth, and it climbed ramps and stairs confidently on battery power. It could recognize people’s faces and avoid obstacles, and generally do all the things in a minute-long demo that made people excited for the robot future to come. Alas, that future seems as far off today as it did in 2000; outside of factories, few robots other than the occasional Roomba have made it past the demonstration stage. We’ll get there eventually. And the research that went into Asimo will help. It may not be the actual robot we have in our homes, but this kind of project tends to create all kinds of useful technology

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GM is supplying next-gen batteries for Honda EVs

GM has expanded its collaboration with Honda to supply the Japanese automaker with next-generation batteries. These will go in EVs built mainly for the North American market, and though neither company stated when they would start using the new power...

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Techstars in Detroit outgrows Ford Field and is moving to WeWork

Techstars Mobility has a new home. The accelerator program is moving from Ford Field to the 7th floor of WeWork Merchant’s Row. This puts the program in a central location in Detroit’s growing tech scene, giving participants the opportunity to interact with other entrepreneurs looking to be, as they say in Detroit, a big fish in a small pond. Techstars Mobility has made in impact in Detroit since its first program in 2014. The program has invested in 33 startups who have raised $45 million. Focusing on all areas of mobility, the program leverages partnerships with top automakers and suppliers to utilize Detroit’s long history of innovating mobile transportation. The 2018-2019 program will work with CSAA Insurance Group, Bosh, Ford Motor Company, Honda, Volvo and others. It’s an impressive group spanning the mobility space from automakers to insurers. I’ve long pointed to Techstars programs as a good example of using an area’s strengths to grow startups. Detroit’s Mobility program is the perfect example. To me, it makes more sense to build on an area’s proven industry than try to copy what works elsewhere. It allows the Motor City to continue to be the Motor City rather than trying to become Silicon City.

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Volkswagen’s Atlas Tanoak concept is a short-bed pickup truck dream

Volkswagen debuted a concept pickup truck at the New York Auto Show this week, and the Atlas-based design features a short bed design, based on VW’s MQB platform. It’s basically the Atlas 7-seater SUV with the back cut off and a small (but versatile) truck bed in place of the SUV’s cargo storage and third seating row – but that could be exactly the right balance to strike if Volkswagen wants to make a pickup that’s attractive to U.S. consumers. The Atlas Tanoak, named after a type of tree found in the U.S. Pacific Coast, also features an extended wheelbase compared to the Atlas, with a total overall vehicle length of 214 inches. It has 10 inches of vertical ground clearance, and a 276-horsepower V6 engine with all-wheel drive, along with an eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s got a variety of on-and off-road driving modes, too, and a more rugged front end and exterior so that you don’t have to hew to only the very beaten paths. The cargo bed in back is 64 inches long and 57 inches wide, and VW says you can even transport ATVs and dirt bikes on the back with the tailgate in the down position. gallery ids="1613395,1613393,1613392,1613391,1613390,1613389" Basically, it’s functionally, aesthetically and conceptually a lot like a Honda Ridgeline – but Americans like the Honda Ridgeline. Heck, just looking at photos of this thing makes me think “Yes, I am a city dweller who sometimes escapes to the country for some outdoorsy fun and this vehicle calls to me” so I think VW is on the right path here. Or off it, so to speak. Volkswagen currently has no plans to put the Atlas Tanoak into production, however – it’s taking the temperature of interest and market fit with this New York Auto Show reveal. Consider this article my vote: Please make this truck

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Bell & Ross creates a transparent tourbillon

It’s spring and that means it’s time for Basel, the definitive international watch show. Around this time every year all of your favorite brands – and brands you’ve never heard of – launch unique timepieces that cost more than a few dozen Honda Accords and look like something made by  Doctor Manhattan during one of his less melancholy moments. Today’s wild timepiece comes to use from Bell & Ross , makers of big square watches that look like aircraft dials. This new piece, called the BR-X1-Skeleton-Tourbillon-Sapphire, maintains the traditional B&R shape but is almost completely clear with a case made of sapphire and held together by pins and screws. The movement, which comes in three colors, is a complete hand-wound tourbillon system and is beautifully visible from all angles. A tourbillon, for the uninitiated, is a system for rotating the watch’s balance wheel 360 degrees. This system, originally created by Breguet , ensured that a watch didn’t slow down when subjected to odd gravitational forces. Now, however, it’s a wildly expensive conversation starter. This is a beautiful update to B&R’s original see-through watch and, while the vast majority of us will never own something like this, it’s nice to know that someone still cares about horological complexity paired with wild design. How much does it cost to own the watch equivalent of Wonder Woman’s Invisible Jet?

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What to expect from the Geneva Motor Show

The city of Geneva, Switzerland is about to become of the center of the automotive universe. Automakers from all over the world are descending upon the city to unveil their latest vehicles and Engadget will be there to keep you abreast of the breakin...

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