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Old 01-09-2006, 11:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Honda to release fuel cell vehicle in 3-4 years!?

Just saw this at Greencarcongress:

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2006...t_hy.html#more

3-4 years is an ambitious target! Guess they've had the frighteners put on them by the lithium boys over at Mitsubishi!
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Old 01-09-2006, 12:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm going to believe it when I see it, but that statement comming from Honda, I'm almost tempted to believe it. There is no mention of who or how it will be leased/sold to. I'm betting initially they will only offer it to fleets or government agencies. I'd buy one if I could (reasonably). They just need to have it a plug in with some plug in only range then hydrogen beyond that point.
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Old 01-10-2006, 04:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Have you seen the Honda jet?

If Honda wants to do it they will! The question is, does it make any sense? Honda built electric cars and four wheel steering sports cars. Those ideas just dried up.

Nevertheless, if it is going to happen you can almost bet the farm Honda will do it first.
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Old 01-10-2006, 05:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b1shmu63
Have you seen the Honda jet?
That's nothing, have you seen Honda's humanoid robot?

http://world.honda.com/HDTV/ASIMO/

Several high up members of management at Honda have been stating (quite seriously it seems!) for some time that the market for humanoid robots will soon be worth more money than the entire global car market - hence the billions they've sunk into this project!
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Old 01-10-2006, 11:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Asimo has been around for quite a while. Nothing really new.

As far as the "4-Wheel Steering sportscars" (and saloons; Accord) and "Electric Cars" go:
Dead-ends maybe, but at least Honda bothered GOING THERE in the first place !!!
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Old 01-10-2006, 12:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Market for humanoid robots? What exactly can you do with a humanoid robot that can't be done better/faster/cheaper by either a real human, or specialized machinery? Try as I might, the only use I can think of is as a really expensive sex toy
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Old 01-10-2006, 04:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Bomb removal, Atomic disater cleanup, space exploration, mining disaster recovery, eliminating the wheel chair.

Granted the technology is not there yet, but whenever.
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Old 01-11-2006, 05:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james
Market for humanoid robots? What exactly can you do with a humanoid robot
Both Honda and Toyota are building them first to be "partner robots", mainly to help around the house and care for elderly people (of which Japan is soon to have an very large number of). For this same reason, a rapidly ageing population, the Japanese are also concerned that there won't be enough young people working to support the millions of retired. Hence the other major aspect is cheap labour.

The ONLY two things holding back ASIMO etc are software and Moore's law. And let's face it, Moore's law isn't best known for hanging about....
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Old 01-11-2006, 12:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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"Bomb removal, Atomic disater cleanup, space exploration, mining disaster recovery..."

All of which are being done by specialized robots, or teleoperated machines. (The distinction isn't always clear - is a Mars rover a robot?) Those robots have forms that fit their functions far better than a humanoid form would. I'd argue that for almost any purpose, other than variations on the sex toy theme, a non-humaniod form would be better suited to the job.

"...eliminating the wheel chair"

This one I don't understand. Are you perhaps thinking of a powered exoskeleton? But that would not be any kind of robot.

"Both Honda and Toyota are building them first to be "partner robots"...

See? Sex toys, basically

"...the other major aspect is cheap labour."

It's far cheaper to just automate the job in the first place. (Or export it to China...) Using humanoid robots instead? Well, the closest analogy I can think of is if the first automobile makers had instead produced mechanical horses that you hitched to your existing buggy. Sure, it could be done, but is it the most effective way?
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Old 01-12-2006, 05:35 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james
Are you perhaps thinking of a powered exoskeleton?
This is what Toyota had a couple of years ago, I've seen a much more advanced version (ie closer to production looking), but can't find the picture.



Quote:
Originally Posted by james
It's far cheaper to just automate the job in the first place. (Or export it to China...)
That's the problem, how will Japanese manufacturing compete with emerging economies with labour rates of 2 dollars per day? Answer, a 24-hour non-union robotic workforce working for the cost of the electricity it takes to run them (not much).
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