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Saturday, 1 July, 2000, 10:25 GMT 11:25 UK
Robo-man wows Japanese
P3 on a demonstration walk
P3 delights the public in Tokyo
A human-shaped robot has been unveiled by the Japanese car maker Honda.

The prototype, called the P3, went on a demonstration walk before a crowd of spectators at the company's headquarters in Tokyo.

With the ability to judge the ground conditions in human environments, the robot is capable of walking on two legs and can also perform simple tasks with its two hands.

Honda describes the robot as the highest-performing bipedal robot in the world.

Human shape

P3's proportions and the positions of its joints were adapted from the human body. The robot is 1.6 metres tall, has a shoulder width of 60 centimetres, a depth of 55 centimetres, and weighs 130 kilograms.

P3 on a demonstration walk
P3: Advanced bipedal robot
The skeleton consists of magnesium, and the movements are powered by servomotors. The robot can work for up to 25 minutes on a battery charge. Its maximum walking speed is approximately two kilometres per hour.

The research into walking humanoid robots is part of Honda's technology research.

It started work on the project in 1986. Honda says the basic concept was that the robot "should coexist and cooperate with human beings, by doing what a person cannot do and cultivating a new dimension in mobility both of which would result in added value to society."

The aim was to develop a robot designed for home use, rather than that purpose-built for special operations.

One of the main challenges was to ensure the robot could move through furniture rooms and go up and down the stairs.

Honda plans to use P3 for sales promotion of company's products.

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