Toyota Motor Corporation just unveiled their third generation humanoid robot called the T-HR3. Using their latest robotics platform, designed and developed by Toyota’s partner robot division, they have been able to create their most advanced version of the humanoid robot yet.
The most interesting thing about the T-HR3 is that it can be controlled from a Master Maneuvering System which allows the entire body of the robot to be operated instinctively with wearable controls that map the hand, arm and foot movements to the robot. The operator will also use use a head-mounted display that allows the user to see from the robot’s perspective. In this video, we can see that the user is using the HTC Vive. They have also attached the Vive Trackers to their feet for movement tracking.
The system’s master arms give the operator full range of motion of the robot’s corresponding joints and the master foot allows the operator to walk in place in the chair to move the robot forward or laterally. The Self-interference Prevention Technology embedded in T-HR3 operates automatically to ensure the robot and user do not disrupt each other’s movements. In the image below, you’ll be able to see how the master maneuvering system controls specific parts of the robot.
The motors, reduction gears and torque sensors (collectively called Torque Servo Modules) are connected to each joint. These modules communicate the operator’s movements directly to T-HR3’s 29 body parts and the Master Maneuvering System’s 16 master control systems for a synchronized user experience.
|Master Maneuvering System||T-HR3|
|Size||W: 850 mm x D: 1500 mm x H: 1450 mm||H: 1540 mm|
|Weight||170 kg||75 kg|
|Moving Parts||16 axes||32 axes and 10 fingers|
|Accessories||Data Glove, Head-Mounted Display||–|
Their goal with the humanoid robot is to help meet people’s unique mobility needs. This T-HR3 robot represents an “evolution from previous generation instrument-playing humanoid robots, which were created to test the precise positioning of joints and pre-programmed movements, to a platform with capabilities that can safely assist humans in a variety of settings, such as the home, medical facilities, construction sites, disaster-stricken areas and even outer space” according to Toyota.
“The Partner Robot team members are committed to using the technology in T-HR3 to develop friendly and helpful robots that coexist with humans and assist them in their daily lives. Looking ahead, the core technologies developed for this platform will help inform and advance future development of robots to provide ever-better mobility for all,” said Akifumi Tamaoki, General Manager, Partner Robot Division.
T-HR3 will be featured at the upcoming International Robot Exhibition 2017 at Tokyo Big Sight from November 29 through December 2.