Need Help at Home? Hire This Toyota Robot
As we enter the second half of this decade, it seems that just about everything that could be automated is becoming automated. Self-driving cars are on the horizon, and we currently have vehicles that can brake for you to avoid an accident, inform you if you’re drifting out of your lane, or help you slip effortlessly into that parallel parking spot. Now, Toyota wants to extend its technical expertise to the home with the invention of a home helper robot that can help make life easier for older adults in Japan.
The world’s population is becoming older, and in Japan, it’s estimated that 40% of the population will be age 65 or over by 2060. In order to help make life easier for future generations, Toyota is working on developing the Human Support Robot (HSR)—a compact, highly maneuverable machine that is able to pick up objects from the floor or from a shelf, and perform numerous other helpful tasks.
The HSR will be especially useful for elderly adults whose families live far away and cannot provide support in person on a day-to-day basis. Family members can operate HSR remotely, even using their own faces and voices in real-time to help provide much-needed human interaction.
HSR is still in the R&D phase at this time, and will be lent to various organizations in Japan—such as universities, research facilities, and businesses—to provide much-needed feedback that will help developers to make HSR the best it can be. Toyota hopes to have 10 groups testing HSR beginning in April 2016 and lasting for at least two years.
Check out HSR in action in this video: