Toyota’s Human Support Robot brought to US to help Army veteran

Human Support Robot

Toyota’s Human Support Robot (HSR) has been brought into the home of U.S. Army veteran Romulo Romy Carmargo to help with daily living and to improve his quality of life.

The HSR is designed to help around the house with tasks like opening doors and fetching water, tasks Carmago finds difficult after being wounded in Afghanistan and subsequently paralyzed below the neck.

HSR has been used in hospitals in Japan to help with the rapid growth of the country’s elderly population. The robot has also been utilized to open curtains and deliver food/water, and is operated by a touchscreen tablet.

Toyota said the goal of HSR is to help Carmago regain independence and improve his quality of life, in a statement to the press.

HSR capabilities are tested and developed with QR code-like symbols to help the support robot identify objects in the home. While in the home, Carmago is able to control the robot with a tablet attached to his wheelchair and a pencil in his mouth that he uses to command the robot to get water and open doors.

“This is, you know, a big game-changer for everybody that has a disability,” Carmago says in a video that Toyota produced regarding the introduction of HSR in Carmago’s home.

Toyota has been working with robots since 2007, when the Japanese automaker launched its Robot Partner program. HSR has also been used for personal transport and playing the violin. HSR has also been used to rehabilitated sick patients and to help transferring patients between beds.

Lastly, in 2015 the Japanese car company created the Toyota Research Institute that’s involved with autonomous cars and robots helpers for the home. Toyota plans to put $1 billion (USD) into the institute within the next five years.

Source: The Verge