It is Toyota's first in-home trial of a Human Support Robot in North America.
We have been covering the exploits of Toyota's robotics research for a while now, but now they're paying off in the real world. The company recently conducted the first North American in-home trial of its HSR, or Human Support Robot.
The HSR was installed in the home of Afghanistan veteran Romulo Carmrago, who is paralyzed from the neck down due to injuries sustained during deployment as an Army ranger. The robot helps Carmargo open doors, and fetch water and food. It's controlled from a either a tablet-like touchscreen, which Carmargo interfaces with via a mouth-held stylus, or by voice command.
"When they opened the box, and I saw the robot, I figured we would unfold the next chapter in human support robots helping people with disabilities - like this research is going to change the world," said Carmargo when Toyota brought the HSR to his house.
The HSR stands at child height, with cameras and an iPad-like control interface mounted at head level and a single articulating arm extending from is body. It uses QR code-like labels to identify objects, and can navigate around the furniture and objects in a typical household room.
Carmargo's wife Gaby said that the robot helped her take care of him, and allowed him to gain some of his independence as well. Most excited of all, however, as Carmargo's son Andreas, who was excited to share his house with a robot. Watch a video of the robot here.