After extensive research on autonomous cars, Toyota is working on humanoid robots capable of taking care of the elderly.
Will the world's number automotive company also become a global giant robots of all kinds?
In Japan, where the commercial applications of humanoid robots is spreading, scientists have been working for several years on humanoid robots, which will be able to help the disabled and elderly to move. This type of robot, called to address the lack of personnel for home care of dependent persons, even intended to detect falls, leakage of gas or water, and to contact emergency services or family in case of any problem. The stakes are even higher in Japan, where birthrate is the lowest in the world and where over people over 65 already account for over a quarter of the population.
To serve this need, the Japanese industrial will develops robots that would be sufficiently "sophisticated" and "delicate" to transport elderly people who are unable to move themselves.
Could Toyota become a robot manufacturer?
It's a possibility says Gill Pratt, recalling that the Japanese group has already designed several robots, not only industrial models but humanoids. The company has recently announced their intention to purchase the robotic arm of Google, Boston Dynamics.
Toyota's interest in domestic robots is directly derived from its work on cars heading farther into autonomous cars, according to the vision delivered by the Toyota Research Institute head of research, Gill Pratt.