The T-HR3 robot of the Japanese Toyota brand reproduces faithfully and fluidly the gestures of a human being.

It’s called T-HR3. With his fifty meter and his 75 kilos, he looks pretty nice. The particularity of this humanoid robot, presented this week by the Japanese firm Toyota , is to be remotely remote controlled and able to reproduce the slightest gestures of a human operator. The robot raises the arms, spreads the fingers and can even stand on one foot, thanks to 29 body zones and 32 axes of rotation. What is striking is the great fluidity of the movements.

A remote controlled robot

In reality, T-HR3 is not quite a robot since it is not autonomous. It must be controlled by an operator, although it is possible to program automatic tasks, according to Toyota. The “pilot” installs on a kind of exoskeleton and shoes a virtual reality headset, in order to benefit from a return of image. T-HR3 is equipped with sensors that allow it to perform precise and delicate gestures such as, for example, catching a fragile object without breaking it.

A rescue robot

This robot could intervene in dangerous zone (nuclear power station, zone of natural disaster) and play the rescue robots. He could also assist seniors at a distance, according to Toyota. For now still in test, it is intended to be marketed, at a price that has not been disclosed yet. Toyota has already developed several humanoid robots, including one that can even play the trumpet. The brand is competing with the other Japanese Honda. However, this is not the first remotely remote controlled robot. There are already intervention robots on difficult areas, not to mention the surgical robots that allow to perform very precise movements provided they are guided by a doctor. But T-HR3 is one of the first of its kind in human form. It could thus slip into environments adapted to the man. That said, we do not know yet if he is really able to walk.

Artificial robotic muscles

Most robots are powered by motors but roboticists work on more advanced concepts of artificial muscles. Researchers at the Columbia Engineering Foundation in New York have developed synthetic muscle types of silicon powered by electricity or compressed air. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), other researchers are working on muscles inspired by origamis. These are foldable shapes that contract with the vacuum. These robotic muscles are very powerful. They could lift up to 1,000 times their own weight.  

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