Toyota recently announced a new personal robot that has been designed to be an assistant of sorts for people with disabilities, essentially helping them live more independently.
The Human Support Robot (HSR) can be controlled using any tablet like device. The tablet can also be placed on top of HSR which would allow communication between the robot’s owner and other people (caregivers) using Skype or other similar communication tools. HSR is capable of picking things up from the floor/atop tables/counters, opening & closing curtains, and fetching things for the owner, which may not be easy tasks for elderly or disabled people.
Toyota has been extensively testing HSR since 2011 and constantly getting feedback from patients. From the looks of it, HSR has a very good chance of becoming a real consumer product in a couple of years. Toyota would be demonstrating HSR from 26 – 28 September at Tokyo Big Sight as part of the “bleeding edge development of health care equipment” project.