Partner Robot Family

Partner Robot, as its name suggests, is a robot that assists people with a combination of caring and intelligence.

Toyota has been working to develop commercially viable "partner robot" by building on its expertise in the field of industrial robotics and applying cutting-edge technology from areas such as the automotive industry and IT. Remaining loyal to the philosophy of Sakichi Toyoda and Kiichiro Toyoda, which is to "contribute to the world and to people by enriching society through manufacturing".

Personal Assist Robot

Human Support Robot(HSR)

Concept

The Human Support Robot (HSR) is being developed to assist people in their everyday activities. In the future, the HSR will coexist with family members in the home, providing support to improve living conditions and the overall quality of life.

Features

Three key features make it possible for the HSR to operate in indoor environments around people.

1. Compact, Lightweight Body
To better accommodate a wide variety of households, the HSR needs to be lightweight and maneuverable. An articulated arm and telescoping body allow the HSR to cover a large workspace despite its compact footprint.

2. Safe Interaction
Realizing that contact between human and robot is an essential aspect of support in domestic situations, a safety-conscious design was a top priority for the HSR. The robot's arm uses little power and moves slowly to prevent accidents and injuries. Obstacle avoidance and collision detection help the HSR to operate safely in a human-centric environment.

3. Simple Interface
HSR can be controlled intuitively through voice commands or a simple graphical user interface via any number of common handheld touchscreen-enabled devices, such as tablet PCs and smartphones.


Functions

HSR has three basic modes: Pick-up, Fetch, and Manual Control.

Pick-up

The arm has a simple gripper to pick up objects such as pens and TV remotes, while thinner hard-to-grasp objects like paper or cards can be lifted off the floor using a small vacuum installed in the hand.

Watch the
movie
(1:22)
*Japanese Only



Fetch

Using voice commands or the touch-screen GUI, the user can command the robot to retrieve objects from boxes and shelves by simply specifying what to fetch.

Watch the
movie
(1:25)
*Japanese Only



Manual Control

Tasks that are currently beyond the scope of HSR's autonomous capability can be performed manually via the user interface. Manual control is also useful for remote operation ("telepresence"), which would allow caregivers and family members to communicate with the robot's owner over Skype or other services, by means of a tablet dock on top of its head.

Watch the
movie
(1:12)
*Japanese Only


Release 2012
Body diameter 370mm
Body height 830 mm - 1,330 mm (500 mm extension range)
Weight 32 kg


Technology

1. Articulated Arm
HSR is intended to help out around the home by fetching things, opening curtains, and picking up fallen objects. Along with a telescoping body, the robot's single arm can extend to pick stuff up from the floor or atop tables and high counters. When not in use, the arm is designed to fold in tightly to reduce its body's overall diameter.

2. Flexible Hand
Attached to the HSR's arm is a two-finger gripper, which is soft to the touch. This flexible hand conforms to the shape of objects it grasps, and includes a pressurized suction pad to lift thin items such as cards or paper.

3. Object Recognition & Grasp Planning
Object recognition algorithms allow HSR to understand the size and shape of items tasked to pick-up or grasp. This information is used to compute an appropriate path for the arm and position of the hand.

4. Environment Recognition and Autonomous Mobility
Onboard sensors keep HSR apprised of its surroundings, so that it can safely navigate inside the home, avoiding obstacles while continuing along the optimum route to its instructed destination.

5. Remote Functions
Family members and caregivers can access and operate HSR using a network-enabled device to perform the following tasks:
・Remote Control
Perform household tasks (Retrieve objects, open curtains, etc)

・Remote Monitoring
Watch over a disabled family member or check-in on an empty house

・Remote Communication
Video chat with family members ("telepresence")

Currently, this functionality is limited to use on a local network, but access from remote locations will be available in the near future.
HSR will keep family, friends, and society connected.



Social Contribution

TOYOTA has developed the HSR prototype to assist independent home living for persons with limited arm or leg mobility. Aiming to improve quality of life, TOYOTA 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, TOYOTA 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, TOYOTA 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.

Press Release

Walk Assist Robot

The robot assists a person who has lost the use of one leg through paralysis due, for instance, to a stroke or polio. The robot is attached to the leg to help the user walk more securely and naturally.

The Walk Assist Robot is attached to one leg to support rehabilitation for function recovery. After rehabilitation, the robot helps with typical activities in daily life such as walking on level ground, climbing and descending stairs, sitting down and getting up from a chair, climbing hills and descending slopes, using a toilet, using a wheelchair, getting in and out of a car's passenger or back seats. With the support from the robot, a user can become more independent for a full and active life.

Intelligent Multi-Sensor Control (harmonious control)

A position sensor on the thigh and a pressure sensor on the sole of the foot detect the user's thigh position and the weight put on the foot. Based on the user's stride and stride, an actuator at the knee regulates action to achieve the best walking assistance.
By calculating walking speed, the user is able to walk naturally and with confidence at a preferred pace.

Timing Lock Mechanism

A special link mechanism at the knee joint ensures a secure lock (without the knee bending) when the leg swings and plants the weight-bearing foot on the ground, so that the user can walk with confidence.

Lightweight Materials

Ways to lessen the burden on the user through weight reduction such as using CFRP as the material for the body were devised.
Using original architecture and algorithms, TOYOTA seeks to develop a commercially viable Walk Assist Robot that supports freer, more secure and independent mobility in daily life.

Press Release

Release 2011
Size (H×W×L) 620-770mm × 280mm × 290mm
Weight 3.5kg

Care Assist Robot

At present, in many medical and care facilities, 2 attendants or caregivers are required to move patients or those in need of care to and from their bed.
There is data showing that nearly 70% of caregivers suffer from back pain due to the heavy burden on their back lifting patients when assisting in normal daily activities.

The Care Assist Robot is equipped not only to assist lifting the patient to and from bed, but to help transport the patient to and from the toilet or other indoor destinations. With use of an assist mechanism, transport by even a single attendant or caregiver can be accomplished as the robot helps to provide more ease and comfort in movement.

One person is able to provide care and assistance alone thereby reducing the physical stress and burden on both the caregiver and care receiver. Being able to support carefree and comfortable transport, results in improvement of the Quality of Life.

People-friendly Operation System

The Care Assist Robot has a universal control design which is safe and easy to operate for both the caregiver and the care receiver. The holding arm, operated by the caregiver, and the mobility mechanism which transports care receivers, are designed with consideration given in reducing the burden on the posture and position for both the care receiver and caregiver.

Easy & Safe Adjustment Mechanism

A universal operation interface and assist mechanism makes it possible for the attendant or caregiver to easily adjust the arm which holds and supports the patient with one hand. Consideration has also been given to safety for the caregivers and the care receivers with a feature that prevents accidental pinching.

Gentle, Wrap-around Holding Device

The patient's stress, burden and anxiety is reduced by being gently enveloped in the holding device.

Easy Power Assisted Dolly

The power-assist feature lessens the work load as the attendants and caregivers do not feel the patient's weight during transport.

Press Release

Release 2011
Size (H×W×L) 900mm × 700mm × 995mm
Weight 140kg

Robina

Robina is one of the family of Partner Robot that can help provide medical and nursing care or perform housework. It is able to think and move for itself, carry and use objects, and even converse with people. In the future, it is hoped that Robina will become a trusted partner, assisting doctors and nurses and looking after patients and the elderly wherever medical and nursing care are provided.

Watch the
Robina movie
(1:44)

Release 2007
Size (H×W×L) 1200mm × 580mm × 580mm
Weight 60kg

Humanoid

The Humanoid is one of the family of Partner Robot that assists people. Able to move its whole body and with advanced coordination controls, the Humanoid can walk like a person and even use tools. In the future, it is envisioned that this robot will support people by helping out with the housework and even taking care of people.

Playing Trumpet

A performance with a trumpet was made possible with the recreation of the vibrations of a human lip and piston-controlled human-like fingers. This tool is aimed to provide support in medical, nursing, and housework areas.

Release 2005
Size (H×W×L) 1480mm × 609mm × 395mm
Weight 40kg

Playing Violin

The instrument is delicately played like a human with a highly advanced cooperative control of both hands and arms. This tool is aimed to provide support in medical, nursing and housework areas.

Watch the
Playing Violin
movie
(1:52)

Release 2007
Size (H×W×L) 1522mm × 761mm × 497mm
Weight 56kg

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