Robots are here to stay, and all signs point to there being more "everyday" mechanized friends that will specialize in doing different things for different people. In addition to its work on the Partner Robot, Toyota is developing a Human Support Robot (HSR) to assist the elderly at home. The cylindrical, 70-pound HSR can be controlled by voice, just like children and grandchildren, and will perform the tasks that children and grandchildren are most handy for, such as picking things up, retrieving items from shelves and opening curtains. The HSR can also be guided by tablet computer. It's not meant for heavy lifting on the double-quick, though, and we mean that literally – maximum speed is 3 km/h – 1.86 mph – and burdens can't exceed 2.6 pounds.

Created in cooperation with the Japan Service Dog Association, the HSC underwent home trials last year and will be introduced to the public in prototype form at the Forefront of the Development of Home Care and Rehabilitation Equipment show in Tokyo this week. More testing is planned in order to enhance its safety and practicality for at-home duties before it joins the mechanized robotic regiments headed our way. A press release below will help you get ready for your domestic laser-eyed killers helpers.
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TMC Develops Independent Home-living-assistance Robot Prototype

Toyota City, Japan - Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has developed a human support robot (HSR) prototype to assist independent home living for persons with limited arm or leg mobility. The prototype is an addition to the Toyota Partner Robot series that TMC is developing to assist people in their everyday activities.

The HSR-operable by voice command or by tablet PC-has a highly maneuverable, compact, and lightweight cylindrical body with a folding arm that enables it to pick up objects off the floor, suction up thin objects, retrieve objects from high locations, open curtains, and perform other household tasks. Furthermore, the moving parts of the body and arm do not generate large amounts of force, thus ensuring user safety and peace of mind.

Aiming to improve quality of life, TMC 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, and developed functions focused around picking up dropped objects, retrieving items, and communicating with family members and caregivers. In 2011, TMC conducted in-home trials using the robot with individuals with limb disabilities in cooperation with the Foundation for Yokohama Rehabilitation Service and incorporated user feedback into development.

Additionally, in response to the aging of Japan's population, TMC will collaborate with research organizations such as universities as well as persons involved in nursing and healthcare to research and develop new functions for the HSR-such as remote monitoring and assistance-with the aim of practical application in the field of care for the elderly.

TMC plans to display the HSR prototype at the "Forefront of the Development of Home Care and Rehabilitation Equipment" special event at the 39th International Home Care and Rehabilitation Exhibition 2012, which will be held at the Tokyo International Exhibition Center in Koto Ward, Tokyo, from September 26 through 28.

Main Specifications of the Human Support Robot (HSR) Prototype
Body diameter 370 mm
Body height 830 mm - 1,330 mm (500 mm extension range)
Weight 32 kg
Arm length 775 mm
Shoulder height 506 mm - 1,006 mm (500 mm extension range)
Objects that can be held 1.2 kg or less, 130 mm wide or less
Maximum speed 3 km/h
Mobility performance Level difference: 9 mm; gradient: 5°

Toyota Information


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