Toyota has unveiled the third-generation of humanoid robot.
Toyota has unveiled the third-generation of its in-house developed humanoid robot. Known as the T-HR3, the new robot is vastly more capable that Toyota's last-generation model.
Progressing from Toyota's previous robot design, which was created only to test the precise positioning of joints and pre-programmed movements, the T-HR3 is capable of moving through and interacting with its surrounding environment. Toyota is developing the T-HR3 as a human assistant that it hopes can one day help help with a myriad of tasks, ranging from housework to going to outer space.
"The Partner Robot team members are committed to using the technology in T-HR3 to develop friendly and helpful robots that coexist with humans and assist them in their daily lives. Looking ahead, the core technologies developed for this platform will help inform and advance future development of robots to provide ever-better mobility for all," said Akifumi Tamaoki, general manager, Partner Robot Division.
The robot is controlled by a full-body suit that Toyota calls the Master Maneuvering System. Any movements made by the operator are exactly followed by the robot. There is even a system in place that allows the operator to walk in place to move the robot forward or laterally. A feed from the robot's "eyes" are sent to the user's headgear.
In order to make the system as realistic as possible, the Master Maneuvering System and the T-HR3 are equipped with Torque Servo Modules that measure and then replicate the amount of force being applied to an object. This essentially allows the user to feel exactly what the robot is feeling, making it possible to accomplish more delicate tasks.
The T-HR3, which weighs 165 pounds, is equipped with a self-balancing system so it won't fall over if it comes into contact with another object.
Toyota has not indicated when a robot like the T-HR3 might hit the market, but the humanoid will be on display at the International Robot Exhibition in Tokyo later this month.