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 voice commands. The tablet can be worn on HSR’s head. The resident would in turn talk to other family members or a caregiver via Skype or another voice service. 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 designers considered home nuances that can affect how much of a welcome such a robot would be—small-sized rooms and floor-surface interruptions 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. Via Toyota will showcase support robot for homebound.