Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Toyota's New Humanoid Robot Looks Like A Friendly Atlas by Matthew Hart

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Lately, the humanoid robot scene has been dominated by Boston Dynamics’ Atlas. But even though Atlas may dazzle you with its backflips and unbeatable balance, it still tends to give off a serious T-800 vibe. Toyota’s new, third generation humanoid robot on the other hand, the T-HR3, that’s the kind of humanoid robot you wouldn’t worry about holding your sharpened thermite sword. Plus, it’s controlled by a user’s movements, so until it becomes sentient, at least some meat bag is in charge of it.

News of the T-HR3, which was picked up by The Verge, comes from the auto giant’s home country of Japan. In a press release, the company said that the T-HR3 demonstrates Toyota’s latest robotics platform, and will be used to “explore new technologies for safely managing physical interactions between robots and their surroundings, as well as a new remote maneuvering system that mirrors user movements to the robot.”

In terms of specs, you’re looking at a 165-pound five-foot-tall “Toyota Robot Partner” that has ten fingers, two feet and a pair of eyes that are a lot more WALL-E than they are skinless Terminator. T-HR3 is outfitted with a series of Torque Servo Modules (i.e. servomotors or “robot muscles”) that are controlled from the Master Maneuvering System, which has a headset that allows you to see out of T-HR3’s eye cameras. The whole setup looks a bit like Snuffles’ advanced mechanical suit from Rick and Morty — at least from the waist up. Although one of the previous generations of the Toyota humanoid robot, the i-Foot, really looks like something that could frighten Summer in the middle of the night.

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