Toyota unveils robot helping hand
TOKYO (AFP) - Japanese car giant Toyota on Wednesday unveiled a robotic best friend that can offer a helping hand around the house fetching and carrying for the elderly or immobile.
The human support robot, a compact cylinder-shaped machine 37cm in diameter and up to 130cm tall, can be remotely controlled by a tablet computer to recognise items it is sent to fetch.
Taking their cue from dogs that are trained to retrieve things, Toyota engineers designed the robot to perform simple tasks on command, using an arm equipped with a small suction pad.
"The robot still has challenges such as selecting items from a drawer containing all sorts of things, for example," said Mr Takashi Yamamoto, general manager at Toyota's advanced technology engineering department.