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Toyota to Unveil Humanoid Robot at 2020 CES

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Toyota Mobility Products Compilation
Photo: Toyota

Toyota has announced it will appear at the 2020 CES convention in Las Vegas on January 6, where it will present information and cool concepts that are part of the company’s “mobility ecosystem strategy,” including a humanoid robot.

Dubbed the T-HR3, the robot is an interest take on future mobility. It is not powered by AI or anything of the sort — rather, it is remotely controlled by a person wearing a virtual reality headset using arm and hand controls.

Essentially, it’s like a surrogate from the eponymous 2009 film. The aim is to be able to use the robot as a substitute for yourself — a doctor could perform surgery when unable to travel to the location fast enough, or people could go to live events when physical attendance would otherwise be impossible.

“When we consider how robots will be used in the future, we think that there will be high demand for robots that make effective use of many joints to accomplish delicate tasks, the way humans do, and that can operate safely even when they are in contact with the world around them,” said Tomohisa Moridaira, head of the Toyota research team developing T-HR2.

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Moridaira added controlling a humanoid robot is very intuitive — all you have to do is move naturally. The main obstacle in the way of the technology has to do with the speed and reliability of the telecommunications network in sending and receiving the movement and visual data.

Based on the image above, you can see that Toyota has a lot of other products in the oven as well, including a few we’ve seen before, like the e-Palette on the top left that will be used in the Olympic village during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

These mobility products will be shown to visitors attending the Toyota booth alongside visual depictions of Toyota’s ecosystem plans, as well as two “innovation areas” that will highlight Toyota AI Ventures and Toyota IP Solutions. The former is a venture capital firm that seeks to invest in relevant tech startups while the latter is a newly formed patent team that will supposedly try to sell you on the benefits of licensing Toyota’s intellectual property.

If you can’t make it in person, you’ll be able to watch the press conference live online.

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