HSR: the wizard-Toyota robot
Although DARPA and experiments focus a good part of the time we talk about robotics, the fact is that Robots are increasingly present and are key sectors in industrial production lines or high-precision tasks like surgery and complexity or handling of hazardous compounds (to cite two extreme examples). In fact, the robot can help improve the quality of life of people suffering from loss of mobility for any type of disease through robotic prosthesis or with the help of a robot-assistant. Projects like Robots for Humanity , from a pilot, or RIBA II , which is used in some hospitals in Japan, we have shown that robots can exercise regime 24×7 assistants and help with household chores to a person suffering mobility problems, a field in which Toyota also has ventured to present the HSR robor .
The Human Support Robot (or HSR) is a robot developed by Toyota with the idea of serving as an assistant or butler to people who suffer mobility problems. This robot, which has a very versatile arm, is committed to prevent, for example, an old man have to bend down to pick something that has fallen to the ground (with the risk of a fall can cause a broken hip) catch something in height or something as simple as opening the curtains and let natural light into a room. Logically, a robot has a target audience of these features should be easy to use and the best way to do this is through voice commands but can also be controlled from an application for tablets (providing greater versatility).
From a more technical standpoint, the HSR is a robot of 32 pounds, a height of between half a meter and meter (the robot can also stretch to stretch your arm) and can travel at a maximum speed of 3 kilometers per hour (enough to move inside of a floor). As mentioned at the beginning, the HSR has a single arm with a pair of “fingers” that serve to hold any type of thing.
The idea, at first glance, is quite interesting because it will provide greater flexibility and autonomy of older people (and in Japan is very important because the proportion of elderly population is very large) and to refine the model, Toyota has been working platform with the Japanese Society of Service Dog (in charge of training dogs to assist people with disabilities) to improve the operation of the robot program. For now, the HSR has been tested in the Yokohama Rehabilitation service even before eventual commercialization, the company wants to open a period of consultation with health professionals to expand the features and functionality of the design so you can help more users.
Such initiatives are always good news and a good test that shows that robotics can greatly contribute to improving the quality of life for many users and, in the case of Japan, a number of projects focused on the use of robotics as assistants or helpers ill health workforce.