Biped Robots – The Future Of Personal Assisted Mobility

ASIMO at 1 Utama Shopping Centre
Photo by Wuan.

There is always a big question mark whenever I need to visit unfamiliar places. My main concern was whether those places were accessible or otherwise. The wheelchair is efficient on level surfaces but fails on bumpy surfaces and steps. There is only so much of the environment that can be paved for wheelchair access. Anywhere beyond that is out of bound. Wheelchair users usually have to grudgingly give those less beaten track a pass most of the time. There are hundreds of places that I want to visit but those are just dreams for now as they are mostly not accessible to wheelchairs.

ASIMO at 1 Utama Shopping Centre
Photo by Wuan.

Where the wheelchair fails, the biped robots looks like a promising solution. Although, these robots are still in various developmental stages, I look forward to the day when I can get onto one and traipse across the great outdoors with nary a worry. I saw how Honda’s ASIMO walked and ran during the robot’s roadshow at 1 Utama last Sunday. Searching around the Internet revealed a wealth of information on biped robots that are currently being development by various entities.

ASIMO at 1 Utama Shopping Centre
Photo by Wuan.

The main advantages of biped robots are that with further development these machines can traverse across uneven terrain and climb steps – both task which would stop conventional wheelchairs cold on their tracks. These two functions alone will greatly increase the independence of people who depend on wheelchairs for mobility. For someone who has had to view the world within the confines of my wheelchair, the freedom that such robots provides is incalculable. This is no longer the realm of science fiction. It is a matter of how soon it will be commercially available at a price that is affordable to people who need one.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Minion to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. Columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. Principal Trainer at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

2 thoughts on “Biped Robots – The Future Of Personal Assisted Mobility”

  1. Whats with the 3 robots behind the cute guy? Teaching them how to fetch the papers?

    Peter:
    They cute guy was teaching the three robots to dance. 😀

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