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In late 2017 Toyota Motor Corporation (Japan) revealed T-HR3, the company’s third generation humanoid robot.
The remote, safe, and smooth operation of the T-HR3 is enabled through a new, advanced Torque Servo Module and Master Manoeuvring System.
Toyota’s latest robotics platform, designed and developed by Toyota’s Partner Robot Division, will explore new technologies for safely managing physical interactions between robots and their surroundings, as well as a new remote manoeuvring system that mirrors user movements to the robot. T-HR3 reflects Toyota’s broad based exploration of how advanced technologies can help to meet people’s unique mobility needs.
T-HR3 represents an evolution from previous-generation instrument playing humanoid robots, 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.
“The Partner Robot Division 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 to inform and advance the future development of robots to provide ever-better mobility for all,” says Akifumi Tamaoki, General Manager, Partner Robot Division.
The Self-Interference Prevention Technology embedded in T-HR3 operates automatically to ensure that robot and user do not disrupt each other’s movements.
On board T-HR3 and the Master Manoeuvring System, motors, reduction gears and torque sensors (collectively called the Torque Servo Module) are connected to each joint. These modules communicate the operator’s movements directly to T-HR3’s 29 body parts and the Master Manoeuvring System’s 16 master control systems for a smooth, synchronised user experience.
The Torque Servo Module has been developed in collaboration with Tamagawa Seiki Co., Ltd. And Nidec Seimitsu Corporation.
This technology advances Toyota’s research into safe robotics by measuring the force exerted by and on T-HR3 as it interacts with its environment, then conveying that information to the operator using force feedback.
The Torque Servo Module enables T-HR3’s core capabilities: Flexible Joint Control, to control the force of contact the robot makes with any individuals or objects in its
Whole-body Coordination and Balance Control, to maintain the robot’s balance if it collides with objects in its environment; and Real Remote Manoeuvring, to give users seamless and intuitive control over the robot. These functions have broad implications for future robotics research and development, especially for robots that operate in environments where they must interact safely and precisely with their surroundings.
Since the 1980s, Toyota has been developing industrial robots to enhance its manufacturing processes. The Partner Robot Division has utilised the insights from that experience and built on Toyota’s expertise in automotive technologies to develop new mobility solutions that support doctors, caregivers and patients, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
T-HR3 is controlled from a Master Manoeuvring System that allows the entire body of the robot to be operated instinctively with wearable controls that map hand, arm and foot movements to the robot, and a head-mounted display that allows the user to see from the robot’s perspective.
Master Manoeuvring System T-HR3
Size W: 850mm x D: 1500mm x H: 1450mm H: 1540mm
Weight 170kg 75kg
Moving Parts 16 axes 32 axes and 10 fingers
Accessories Data Glove, Head-Mounted Display -