Toyota Motor Corporation is changing the way it is known around the world from being a champion of motor vehicles to including robotics as part of its core business. Toyota mention back in December of 2007 that they would focus on developing “assistance robots” with availability as soon as 2010. Since then they have been looking for ways to improve the lives of paralyzed people. This new robot, yet unnamed publicly yet probably based on the Toyota “Robina” robot, will help stroke victims. It is being created with the help of the Fujita Health University to aid stroke patients with paralysis on half of their body in day-to-day activities, including helping the individual to walk again.
People with one-sided paralysis often walk unevenly due to keeping their leg locked due to the fear of tumbling if they should flex their knees. This Toyota robot moves alongside the person, senses their leg movement, and supports their knee with a motor. This can prevent patients from galling while flexing their knee. It can also be highly customized for the specific support each person needs such as placing their hand on its shoulder instead of using the robot as a knee support. The robot can stand behind the person to allow them to rest as well.
Not much has been released about this new Toyota robot so far as they are keeping a tight lid on information, but we believe that it is based on their Robina Robot. This particular robot was created for human interaction and is already used as a tour guide in some museums and the Toyota plant itself. According to company officials, other current goals with this new robot is that it is smaller and weighs less than previous robots before it.
Toyota has been creating robots for many years now including some robots you see in the videos below:
Robot Quartet Band: