World class automaker Toyota is all set to offer fresh hope to people with disabilities. The company has completed its first ever in-home trial of Human Support Robot (HSR) in North America. This research and development is futuristic and visionary for humanity.
Toyota collaborated with a retired Army veteran Romulo Camargo, who sustained various injuries in Afghanistan. The retired army ranger is now paralyzed from the waist down. During the trial, the Human Support Robot (HSR) was seen opening doors and bringing water and snacks for Romy. HSR was primarily designed to make the life easy by improving the quality of life and aid him to reclaim his independence to a certain extent inspite of his disability.
Camargo’s reaction, when they opened the box, was that this research would change the entire world. He mentioned in a statement that he figured that this would open up the new perspectives in HSR to help people with limited mobility.
About the Human Support Robot (HSR):
HSR is one of the many robots Toyota is working on to help people with disabilities. The robot is around 3 feet tall and is equipped with many sensors to navigate in the house. HSR is light weight and furnished with a telescope. This robot has a segmented arm with a flexible hand unit. A smartphone or tablet sends commands to the robot, and along with GUI commands, the robot reacts well to the voice commands as well.
HSR has three modes to work:
- Pick up, grip for bigger objects or vacuum for the smaller objects
- Fetch, object recognizing features
- Hand over the manual control to the user
Toyota’s other research in the arena:
Welwalk WW – 1000 is a robot designed to help people with partial paralysis walk. It is designed in the form of wearable leg brace.
Project BLAID - It is a visionary futuristic technology focusing on people having vision impairments to help them have better environmental awareness.
Transfer Assist Robot – This is another HSR which helps adult patients move from their chair to the toilet, or from their bed to their chair.
Auto Access Seat – It aids people entering and exiting special vehicles, who have hard times doing so would be able to do so easily with the HSR.
Toyota Motor Corporation is an MNC headquartered in Japan. The organization was founded in almost eight decades ago. The company is admired worldwide for its lean production system.
Partner Robot Technology by Toyota was formed under the base view of “harmony with people” and aims to help humankind via robotic research.
Commenced in the 1970s, Toyota group has been providing service robots mainly for welding and painting. Toyota has also introduced robots in the manufacturing assembly process to improvise upon the quality factors and reduce the cost.
Toyota is not the only automaker that had diversified into the area of robotics. Other motor companies such as Hyundai and Honda too are exploring the opportunities in the field of mobility assistance. With such technological advancements, we hope to see domestic robots making lives easier soon.