Automotive giant Honda Motors Co. Ltd, reportedly, will build new technologies for advanced telepresence robots and electric VTOLs to expand its manufacturing portfolio.
Sources claim that Honda will leverage its electrification technologies and equip its planned electric aircrafts with gas turbine hybrid power units to further extend their range and make them viable for handling long distance, intercity commutes.
The company envisions air taxis as an integral part of future transportation. Although the program is still in the research phase, Honda expects the prototypes to be available for testing and certification by 2030s and a commercial launch by 2040.
It is also planning to introduce advanced telepresence robots that would enable humans to perform tasks from a remote location. It wants the Avatar robot, which is a newly refined recreation of its humanoid Asimo, to be put into practical use by the 2030s.
The company will conduct Asimo’s technology demonstration testing in 2024. However, Honda representatives stated that they will have to work on decreasing the robot’s hand hardware and enhancing its grasping dexterity to meet that goal.
Honda is also looking to venture into space-based services. It anticipates using the avatar robots to replace astronauts in performing certain tasks on the moon’s surface. The conglomerate is presently trying to find ways to make it possible for using its existing fuel cell and high differential pressure water electrolysis technology on the moon’s surface.
This system is said to be part of its circulative renewable energy system, which will use electricity generated from green energy sources like solar to separate oxygen and hydrogen by breaking the molecular bond of liquid water. This would supply lunar habitants with hydrogen for rocket fuel, and oxygen for breathing.
Honda has collaborated with Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to carry out joint research for developing these systems.