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A Glimpse at Toyota's Robot-Amplified Future

Toyota is creating robots to amplify rather than replace human beings. The task is a daunting one.

Most of us think only of automobiles when we see the name, Toyota. But there is much more to the Japanese-based automotive manufacturer than meets the eye. Over the last few years, Toyota has invested $4 billion in robot and AI research to primarily create safer vehicles. Now, the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) has expanded its focus to include research and development into robotics, machine-assisted cognition technology, and more in the smart home and other applications.

Recently, the TRI hosted a Robotics Virtual Open House. The media event presented a first detailed look at Toyota’s robotics research, sharing the company’s robotics strategy toward making human-assist robots useful in the home and show technological advances through real-time demonstrations.

The event was centered around a mock home in the research lab in Los Altos, CA. Participants were provided with Pico 3DOF virtual reality (VR) headset to provide a 360-degree experience as if they were all in the room together. Dr. Gill Patt, CEO of TRI, and other executives delivered a demonstration of the technology during the event.

John Blyler is a Design News senior editor, covering the electronics and advanced manufacturing spaces. With a BS in Engineering Physics and an MS in Electrical Engineering, he has years of hardware-software-network systems experience as an editor and engineer within the advanced manufacturing, IoT and semiconductor industries. John has co-authored books related to system engineering and electronics for IEEE, Wiley, and Elsevier.

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