It’s time to bid goodbye to Honda’s quirky humanoid robot, Asimo. According to Nikkei Asian Review, the company has suspended development of its pioneering research project, dubbed the Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility, 18 years after its debuted the first model in 2000.

Honda had been working on building bipedal walking machines since 1986, when the company opened a research facility in Saitama to begin research on the project. Along the way, it developed the E- and P-series prototypes, in the process achieving the goal of building the world’s first robot to walk autonomously on two legs, before the more advanced Asimo was unveiled at the turn of the millennium.

A number of iterations have been produced since, with the latest version revealed in 2011. The all-new Asimo, as it’s called, can run at a speed of 9 km/h and has artificial intelligence technology that allows it to recognise voices speaking simultaneously, as well as avoiding bumping into others when walking. It can also do numerous other tasks such as hopping, walking on uneven surfaces, kick a football and even pour a drink.

However, Asimo never made it to market, unlike other projects that kicked off around the same time, such as the HondaJet business aircraft and fuel cell batteries. But while the project has ended, the technologies within will live on in Honda’s other products.

Asimo’s walking technology has found its way into products like Honda Walking Assist

The report stated that several Asimo engineers have been engaged to use their knowledge of sensors and artificial intelligence to develop self-driving technology. The company also revealed a self-balancing motorcycle, called the Moto Riding Assist, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last year. The two-wheeler automatically stabilises itself at low speed through minute steering adjustments.

Other uses of Asimo technology include a walking assist device to support physical therapy and rehabilitation, as well as the commercially-available Miimo robotic lawnmower and the Uni-Cub personal mobility device. Honda has even created a robot to inspect the insides of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant after the latter’s meltdown in 2011.

The company’s management plan through 2030, which was released last year, places focus on energy systems and robotics as well as mobility. The team behind Asimo was reborn as R&D Center X, which has been put in charge of Honda’s robotics strategy.

Malaysians will likely remember Asimo through public demonstrations held locally, including at the 2006 Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show (KLIMS). So long, Asimo, and thanks for the walks, the hops, the waves and the penalty kicks!