An international superstar will give the famous, “Gentlemen, start your engines!” command at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama – though it might sound a bit robotic.
ASIMO, Honda’s humanoid robot that has traveled all over the world, will serve as the grand marshal of the race at the Barber Motorsports Park during the three-day event April 21-23.
ASIMO is the world’s most advanced humanoid robot, designed by Honda to provide assistance to people in their homes. ASIMO has been an honored guest at Disneyland, conducted the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and received a royal welcome in Dubai. ASIMO event visited Alabama last year.
But it has never grand marshalled a race – until now.
“We are honored to have ASIMO as our grand marshal,” said George Dennis, president of ZOOM Motorsports, the exclusive event promoter of the Barber Motorsports Park. “This will be the first race event that ASIMO has attended and we are excited to make history with his appearance.”
As grand marshal, ASIMO will deliver the pre-race command, “Gentlemen, start your engines!” to kick off Sunday’s race. ASIMO will also be performing throughout the weekend in the TNT Fan Zone for fans to watch. Visit www.barberracingevents.com for scheduled show times.
The latest version of ASIMO — which stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility — features enhanced hand dexterity, including the ability to use both American and Japanese sign language, as well as the ability to run faster, climb stairs more smoothly, hop, jump, balance on one foot and transition seamlessly between walking and running.
ASIMO can pour liquids, avoid objects and recognize human faces, making it an able assistant around the home.
The Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will feature the top names in the sport, including “Dancing with the Stars” phenomenon James Hinchcliffe, legendary Graham Rahal, Marco Andretti, Helio Castroneves and defending champion Simon Pagenaud.
General admission tickets for the annual event start at $15, and children 15 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult. Fans can visit www.barberracingevents.com to purchase tickets online.
The Barber Motorsports Park is considered by many to be one of the finest road courses for both cars and motorcycles in the world. It is home to the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, which plans to have its latest expansion ready for visitors for the first time during the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.