Toyota has unveiled its third-generation humanoid, dubbed T-HR3.
The bot connects to a human operator using a Master Maneuvering System and a virtual reality headset. Each joint is connected to the chair through motors, reduction gears, and the torque sensors. This directly communicates physical actions to the robot; when the operator moves their hands, for example, the robot will do the same. In the VR headset, the operator can see exactly what the robot is doing in 3D and real-time.
Toyota says it will demonstrate the technology between Tokyo Big Sight and Tokyo Skytree as part of the DOCOMO Open House 2018 next week. The firm first unveiled its third-generation humanoid last year. The bot can mimic the actions of a human operator, allowing it to do everything from balancing on one foot to squeezing a balloon without popping it.
According to Toyota, the system relies on a remote control ‘Master Maneuvering System’, which uses an array of sensors to directly communicate physical movements to the robot. The creators say this could be used to assist people at home, hospitals, or one day, even in space. The system allows the operator to control the robot remotely from the Mastering Maneuvering System – a large chair equipped with movable arms and dozens of sensors.
Toyota has revealed that it’s successfully controlled the human-sized bot remotely through 5G communication from roughly 6 miles away.
Toyota's third-generation humanoid, dubbed T-HR3, is equipped with 29 Torque Servo Mudles to create distinct movable body parts.Each joint is connected to the chair through motors, reduction gears, and torque sensors. And, the chair itself contains 16 master controls. This, according to Toyota, allows for whole body coordination and ‘real remote manipulation’ of the robot’s actions.
The bot has been compared to the technology in the film Avatar, which saw humans take over another body Footage of the bot in action shows how its movements directly correspond to those of the operator. When the operator moves their arms, the robot does the same. It can even transition through several positions while standing on one foot. The remote control system also uses a head mount display – in this case, an HTC Vive virtual reality headset.
The system allows the operator to control the robot remotely from the Mastering Maneuvering System – a large chair equipped with movable arms and dozens of sensors. Toyota's third-generation humanoid, dubbed T-HR3, is equipped with 29 Torque Servo Mudles.
With this, the operator can see exactly what the robot is seeing in 3D and real-time, to enable more precise actions. According to the creators, this type of system could have a slew of possible applications. According to Toyota, the system allows for whole body coordination and ‘real remote manipulation’ of the robot’s actions.
It could be used in homes or medical settings to assist people with daily tasks. Or, it could be used in construction sites, disaster-stricken areas, or even in space, to help explore or carry out work in environments that are potentially dangerous for a human.
Despite its clunky stature, the robot is even able to take on gentle tasks.
Guided by the human operator, the video shows how it can squeeze a balloon and roll it around between its hands without popping it.
‘The Partner Robot team members are committed to using the technology in T-HR3 to develop friendly and helpful robots that coexist with humans and assist them in their daily lives,’ said Akifumi Tamaoki, General Manager, Partner Robot Division.
‘Looking ahead, the core technologies developed for this platform will help inform and advance future development of robots to provide ever-better mobility for all.’