I used to own a Honda vehicle and a Honda lawn mower. Great products. Replaced both with electrics and would never go back. So I have fond memories of Honda products but it seems unlikely I will ever buy one again. Honda is sadly about the past.
A better guide to the near future appear to be the Chinese. From rare earths to EVs to batteries to solar, they seem to have gotten good at predicting the industries to focus over the next 5-10 years. This Chinese general purpose robot is being marketed at a cool price of $30,000 and is expected to start shipping in Q3 2024.
> " The Kepler humanoid robot from the Forerunner series is a versatile general-purpose robot. Standing at 178cm (5’10") and weighing 85kg (187 lbs), this advanced humanoid features a smart and nimble hand with 12 degrees of freedom. With a total of 40 degrees of freedom throughout its body, the robot excels in navigating challenging terrains, skillful obstacle avoidance, agile hand manipulation, robust lifting and carrying of heavy objects, precise hand-eye coordination, and intelligent interactive communication, claims the firm. The Kepler Humanoid Robot’s impressive abilities are powered by a high-tech system inspired by Tesla’s Optimus,"
If Kepler’s PR is anywhere near accurate, the future has almost arrived:
The Kepler Humanoid Robot, designed for multifunctional use, is adept at operating in various settings, including education and research, automated production lines, intelligent material handling, complex environment inspections, emergency rescue services, outdoor safety operations, and detection of concealed safety hazards. CES 2024 Spotlight: Kepler's Humanoid Robot Launch Gains International Recognition
Once again, it appears that one of the few western companies standing in the way of Chinese domination of an industry is Tesla.
At the moment, there appear to be three major humanoid robot models that are close to being deployed for useful work, Tesla’s Optimus, Kepler’s Forerunner, and Agility Robotic’s Digit. As with EVs, the ultimate winners will be the one’s with the best software and the most efficient mass production.
These robots represent diverse approaches to automation: Optimus aims for versatility in both domestic and industrial applications, the Forerunner emphasizes precision and power for specific industrial roles, and Digit targets practicality in logistics environments. The future of robotics lies in seamlessly integrating these machines into various aspects of our lives and industries, alleviating humans from repetitive and hazardous tasks while enhancing efficiency and productivity. Optimus, Forerunner, and Digit: The Future of Robotics