I watched the ASIMO demonstration for the first time on July 1st. I was somewhat cautious going in because of rumors Id heard of the robot being a little creepy (especially reports of him shaking like an older person with a desease I cant remember right now). But I really enjoyed it. I thought it was amazing and revolutionary. I was really impressed. I realized he is more than just a walking machine. Ive always questioned our need, as a society, for robots. Im still not completely convienced but I better understand how he will be able to help and enhance our quality of life. He walked very smoothly and I didnt notice him shaking at all.
I read once, on MiceAge, an article about the "Uncanny Valley". Maybe you remember it? I think mostly the honda exhibit of ASIMO is to get an idea of how potential consumers react to the robot. Having the robot appear daily (in trusted public environment) to a new audience helps people get used to the idea of a robot that moves and looks (kind of) like us. This way by the time the robots are ready to sell we wont be weirded out as much by their apperance and natural movements.
Are we being manipulated? Forced into something that every sci-fi movie warns against? Is ASIMO the beginging of a world that will soon be taken over by power hungry robots and humanoids? A part of me says yes.
The other part says he is the coolest thing to hit the streets since Michael J. Foxs "Hover Board" from Back To The Futrure Part Deux.