On Thursday Honda tested a 49-foot replica of its ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility) humanoid robot in a rehearsal for the Rose Parade. The giant robot will be joined by Honda's Rose Parade float; the Honda FCX Clarity fuel-cell pace car will be leading the parade, which makes it the first hydrogen-powered car ever to do so.
Why the robots, hoopla, and hydrogen? Honda wanted a memorable way to celebrate its 50th anniversary of its U.S. operations. The parade kicks of on January 1, 2009 at 8:00 a.m., Pacific Standard time.
The company known for fuel-sipping engines and green thinking will be constructing its float, called "Hats Off in Celebration," partially of biodegradable materials such as lettuce seed, rice, carnations, and strawflower. Riding alongside the FCX Clarity will be a Honda Super Cub motorcycle, the first model sold in the U.S.