A Toyota-developed robot, designed to provide support to mobility-impaired patients within their own homes, has been taken from the lab for trials in a domestic environment.
In a newly released video, the Japanese car giant shows how its so-called Human Support Robot has been used to help disabled US war veteran Romy Carmago, who was left paralysed from the neck down after being shot during his service in Afghanistan.
The video demonstrates how the robot – which features an articulated arm and telescopic body – has been used to help him with routine tasks like getting a glass of water or opening the door.
Standing at just over 1m tall and weighing 37kg the robot can be controlled either via voice commands or through a tablet or other electronic device. It can also be operated remotely, enabling caregivers or family members to communicate with the robot’s user via a display on the robot’s head.
The development of technologies able to help people in their own homes is a major area of development for the Toyota, and driven heavily by the fact that Japan has one of the world’s biggest ageing populations. Currently, around a quarter of Japan’s citizens are over the age of 65, and this figure is expected to rise to 40 per cent by 2055.
Related innovations currently development by Toyota include the Care Assist robot, a system that’s designed to help lift patients from their beds; and the walk assist robot – a wearable robotic device to help patients who experience problems walking.