Toyota has unveiled a new robot that’s meant to help around the house, from fetching objects on the floor and high shelves, to connecting you with friends and family using a tablet computer.
Toyota is calling the cylindrical robot HSR (Human Support Robot) and revealed the design at a trade show in Japan over the weekend, reports NBC News.
The HSR is lightweight and responds to voice commands, as well as the graphic interface on a tablet computer. The robot’s key feature is a folding arm that has a two-finger gripper. The gripper enables it to pick things up off of the ground, open curtains, reach high shelves, and other household tasks.
The robot’s arm extends to about two and a half feet and can lift objects weighing up to 2.7 pounds and up to 5.1 inches wide, which makes it sufficient enough to pick up a dropped remote or even fetch an ice cold beer from the fridge.
The robot weighs about 70 pounds and was designed to assist independent home living for people who have limited arm or leg mobility. The HSR’s top speed is just 1.8 miles per hour and its arm can’t cause much trouble, making the Toyota robot safe for indoor home use.
Engadget notes that, along with the robot’s arm to assist its owner, a table slot on the top of the HSR’s head allows you to use it as a telepresence device, making it easy to communicate with friends and family. While price has not been announced yet, it is expected to be reasonable, in an effort to appeal to the older generation who may be unable to perform some tasks, but still wishes to remain independent.