Toyota has revealed its third generation humanoid robot, the T-HR3, which can be controlled and synchronized with the operator’s movements. The user wears data gloves and an HTC Vive VR headset that’s linked to cameras to show the robot’s perspective. T-HR3 stands 1.54 meters tall and weighs 75kg ( 5 feet, 1 inches / 165 pounds) and was developed to explore the possibility of assisting humans in the home, medical facilities, construction sites, disaster areas, and even in space, Toyota says.
The operator can control the robot’s entire body using what's called the Master Maneuvering System (MMS) — 16 torque servo modules in the chair, motion and force sensors at the feet, and 29 more torque servo modules located in the robot’s joints.
When the user moves, the MMS signals to the robot’s 29 body parts (including 10 fingers) to move. The operator can move the robot forwards or laterally by making walking movements while remaining in place. The robot also has balance control, so if it collides with an object, it can keep its balance. Force can be controlled as well, as highlighted by the video when the robot gently picks up a balloon-like ball.
"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 of Toyota’s robots. "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."
T-HR3 will be shown at the International Robot Exhibition in Tokyo from November 29th to December 2nd. Too bad it can’t do backflips.