T-HR3, the Copycat Robot

Toyota recently introduced a third-generation humanoid robot designed to test advanced joint, whole-body and remote-control systems. The T-HR3 could be the prototype for humanoid partner robots that aid people with mobility problems. A human operator controls the robot from a seated position while wearing a headset that displays the world as “seen” by the robot. Sensors and torque servo modules on the robot and the control chair enable the robot to mimic the movements of the operator with supple smoothness. Toyota videos show the robot manipulating rubber balls, assembling Lego-type blocks, adopting various positions and effecting dance and exercise movements. The operator also controls the robot’s gripping force and delicacy of touch. According to an article in the online Japan Times, Toyota “hopes to utilize the T-HR3 in a variety of settings in the future to provide utility in places such as homes, medical facilities, construction sites, disaster areas and in outer space.”

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