Toyota announced Friday that the in-home trial run of its new Human Support Robot working with paralyzed veteran Romulo Camargo was completed and the robot was now ready to feature at the 2017 NASCAR Coke 400 pre-race in Daytona, Beach, Florida. Toyota, however, will continue to work with the veteran “to understand how we can use platforms like HSR to improve mobility.”
During a humanitarian mission in Afghanistan about a decade ago, Army Ranger Romulo Camargo’s troops were ambushed and Camargo sustained a gunshot injury to the neck that rendered him paralyzed from the neck down. Tasks that most of us take for granted is an everyday struggle for this veteran who was on a noble mission.
“When they opened the box, and I saw the robot, I figured we would unfold the next chapter in human support robots helping people with disabilities — like this research is going to change the world,” said Camargo in a release.
The HSR weighs 81 pounds and is three feet tall equipped with stereo camera eyes and a wide-angle camera, which can be called the robot’s nose. The HSR recognizes voice commands like “open the door” and other similar instructions given to it and responds with its robotic voice. In the 2-day trial, it proved a useful companion to the decorated veteran by helping him out with tasks like opening doors and grabbing food from the pantry and handing it over to him.
Designed to be an obliging and safe home companion to those who need its services, the HSR is capable of extending its height by a foot.
The single extending arm of the robot works in sync with the onboard intelligence that identifies objects. The arm responds by reaching out and grabbing objects like a water bottle, a pen, or a doorknob with the help of Vacuum-pad grippers.
While the obstacle avoidance technology enables the robot to move autonomously within the home at 5mph, it can also be controlled using a smartphone. People who connect to the robot via Skype appear on a small display screen at the top.
The three primary modes of the HSR are:
* Pick-up objects with the gripper that extends from the body
* Fetch – the HSR’s response to voice commands
* Manual control
Toyota’s Asimo, the robot that can walk, run, navigate stairs, and greet people has been the most popular so far in the robotics community. The HSR, however, is an addition to an
increasing range of home and human assistant robots developed by Toyota including WelWalk, and Transfer Assist Robot, which can move an adult from a bed to a chair or to a toilet.
The robot has a run time of three hours on a single charge but does not have the capability of recharging itself as confirmed by Toyota.
When Mashable asked about the robots price and availability, Toyota responded by saying that it was a little too early to talk about either aspect as it was an on-going research project.