Toyota will showcase support robot for homebound

Sep 24, 2012 by Nancy Owano weblog
Credit: Toyota

(Phys.org)—Toyota has unveiled a new single-arm robot to assist homebound residents with limited mobility. The 70-pound robot's arm has a two-fingered gripper and telescopic body to complete fundamental house tasks that would otherwise be impossible for the patient to complete. The Toyota prototype is called the HSR, which stands for Human Support Robot, to help those with limited arm and limb movements. The company announced HSR's debut on Sept. 21. HSR goes to work to fetch items, open curtains, and pick up items from the floor or on top of tables and high counters. The Toyota robot can be controlled using a graphical user interface via tablet PC.

The HSR also responds to . The tablet can be worn on HSR's head. The resident would in turn talk to other family members or a via or another . The robot's telescopic body enables it to pick items from the floor or on top of high counters; the body has heights of 2.7 to 4.3 feet and an arm length of 2.5 feet. It can hold an object that weighs up to 2.6 pounds.

Toyota will showcase support robot for homebound

Toyota designers considered home nuances that can affect how much of a welcome such a robot would be—small-sized rooms and floor-surface in crossing over from carpet to hardwood areas. HSR can overcome bumps in the floor up to 0.3 inches, which is said to be enough to cross from a wood to carpeted floor. When not in use, the robot's single arm can fold tightly to reduce its overall body diameter to 14.5 inches, to accommodate small-sized rooms.

Toyota will showcase support robot for homebound

Toyota tested the HSR prototype making use of feedback from the Yokohama Rehabilitation Service. Last year, residents gave Toyota feedback on the design during in-home trials, where the robot was used to help people with disabilities.

As for , the designers saw to it that the body's moving parts do not generate large amounts of force and that movements are slow, to prevent injuries. The robot travels at a maximum speed of 1.8 miles per hour and can climb slopes up to five degrees.

Toyota will showcase support robot for homebound

This new entry takes its place in the family of robots under Toyota's Partner Robot program. Since 2005, Toyota has been doing some serious tinkering on mobility and humanoid robots to accomplish varied tasks. Toyota is keeping a business eye on the fact that the role of personal-service robots is likely to increase as aging populations grow.

"Aiming to improve the quality of life, Toyota has developed the HSR prototype in cooperation with the Japan Service Dog Association to identify the needs and desires of individuals with limited limb mobility," Toyota said in its statement. The company will demonstrate the robot to the public this coming week, from September 26 to 28, at the International Home Care and Rehabilitation Exhibition in Tokyo.

The support robot has some way to go before commercialization. Toyota intends to consult nursing professionals and other health experts to develop further functions before declaring it market-ready.

Explore further: A robot dives into search for Malaysian Airlines flight

More information:
www2.toyota.co.jp/jp/news/12/09/nt12_051.html
kaden.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/news/20120921_561409.html

Related Stories

Toyota shows machines to help sick, elderly move

Nov 01, 2011

Toyota unveiled its ambitions for high-tech health care Tuesday, displaying experimental robots that the auto giant says can lift disabled patients from their hospital beds or help them walk.

Toyota's musical robots (w/ Video)

Feb 25, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- The odds are that when you talk to the average person on the street they will have an opinion on what type of music is good and what type is bad. We tend to think of music as a human thing, ...

iRobot planning an Android-based robot

May 12, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- iRobot is working on robots that have the brains of an Android tablet. The goal is an Android-based tablet that is able to see the world around it, hear input from humans, respond and think ...

Recommended for you

A robot dives into search for Malaysian Airlines flight

6 hours ago

In the hunt for signs of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370—which disappeared on March 8 after deviating for unknown reasons from its scheduled flight path—all eyes today turn to a company that got its start ...

Simplicity is key to co-operative robots

Apr 16, 2014

A way of making hundreds—or even thousands—of tiny robots cluster to carry out tasks without using any memory or processing power has been developed by engineers at the University of Sheffield, UK.

Students turn $250 wheelchair into geo-positioning robot

Apr 16, 2014

Talk about your Craigslist finds! A team of student employees at The University of Alabama in Huntsville's Systems Management and Production Center (SMAP) combined inspiration with innovation to make a $250 ...

Using robots to study evolution

Apr 14, 2014

A new paper by OIST's Neural Computation Unit has demonstrated the usefulness of robots in studying evolution. Published in PLOS ONE, Stefan Elfwing, a researcher in Professor Kenji Doya's Unit, has succes ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Bob_Kob
not rated yet Sep 24, 2012
Well its ungainly as hell, but it sure beats the asimo for practicality.

More news stories

LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

The career-focused social network LinkedIn announced Friday it has 300 million members, with more than half the total outside the United States.

Researchers uncover likely creator of Bitcoin

The primary author of the celebrated Bitcoin paper, and therefore probable creator of Bitcoin, is most likely Nick Szabo, a blogger and former George Washington University law professor, according to students ...

Under some LED bulbs whites aren't 'whiter than white'

For years, companies have been adding whiteners to laundry detergent, paints, plastics, paper and fabrics to make whites look "whiter than white," but now, with a switch away from incandescent and fluorescent lighting, different ...

Magnitude-7.2 earthquake shakes Mexican capital

A powerful magnitude-7.2 earthquake shook central and southern Mexico on Friday, sending panicked people into the streets. Some walls cracked and fell, but there were no reports of major damage or casualties.

Plants with dormant seeds give rise to more species

Seeds that sprout as soon as they're planted may be good news for a garden. But wild plants need to be more careful. In the wild, a plant whose seeds sprouted at the first warm spell or rainy day would risk disaster. More ...

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...