In 2001, by combining the industrial robot technologies it had accumulated with automobile control technologies and state-of-the-art IT technologies, Toyota established its robot project, aiming to demonstrate the robots at Expo 2005 Aichi, Japan. For the expo, Toyota developed music-playing robots to entertain visitors.
Senior General Manager, Partner Robot Div.
From the late 1970s to the 1980s, Toyota began collaborating with robot manufacturers to develop industrial robots for use in welding and painting processes in automobile manufacturing plants.
Then in the 2000s, Toyota started developing Partner Robot by combining industrial robot technologies with the latest control technologies used in automobiles.
The basic concept behind partner robot project is the creation of robot that can use tools, assist people, and live in harmony with us.
Based on this concept, we set out to develop two types of robots, to be demonstrated at Expo 2005 Aichi, Japan.
One of these is robot that can play the trumpet and walk on its two legs, and is meant to be entertaining especially to children. The other is a mountable robot called "i-foot" that was conceived by young engineers based on their childhood dreams.
One of the notable features of Partner Robot is their ability to collaborate with each other. That is, multiple robots can move in synchronization rather than moving individually as standalone units. Furthermore, these robots have artificial lips and fingers that allow them to play the trumpet like a human being.
Although developing these robots required a tremendous amount of effort involving a great deal of work and trial and error, we finished them in time for their debut as highly entertaining robots at Expo 2005 Aichi.
Currently, we are also developing robot that can provide elderly care to help Japan cope with its rapidly aging population.
Our dreams are boundless and we plan to strive to develop partner robot that can enrich people's lives by working in harmony with society and assisting with people's activities.
This web site introduces you to robot that debuted at Expo 2005 Aichi, and also describes Toyota's approach to developing its partner robot.
We hope this will help you experience the appeal and possibilities of partner robot.