Sept 28, 2012–Sydney,Australia (Techreleased) –Toyota lends a (Robotic) hand. Millions of people drive a Toyota vehicle home every day and now the world’s biggest carmaker is aiming to give them a hand – a robotic hand – once they arrive.
Toyota’s Human Support Robot (HSR) may not have the dexterity of the robot maid Rosie fromThe Jetsons TV show, but it has proven extremely useful for people with limited mobility.
HSR has a 775mm-long folding arm that is capable of grabbing objects weighing up to 1.2kg, using a two-fingered “hand” or picking them up using a small vacuum hidden within it.
It can retrieve objects from high locations, open curtains and perform other household tasks.
HSR is the latest in a series of robots the company is developing to help people in their everyday lives, especially with ageing populations in countries like Japan and Australia.
Operated by voice control or by tablet computer, it has a highly manoeuvrable, compact and lightweight cylindrical body that can vary its height by half a metre, from 830mm to 1,330mm.
Developed in cooperation with the Japan Service Dog Association, HSR has been tested in homes of people with limited mobility and to help communicate with friends and caregivers.
HSR is considered safe for indoor use as it weighs just 32kg, travels no more than 3km/h and the moving parts of the body and arm do not generate large amounts of force.
Toyota said it aims to develop new functions through collaboration with research organisations such as universities and experts in nursing and healthcare.
It said additional capabilities such as remote monitoring and assistance could prove useful in caring for the elderly.