Toyota revealed new details of its “gantry robot” for home tasks and other prototypes this week. The robot, which hangs from the ceiling, was inspired by the smaller design of Japanese homes and could particularly help older generations that require more assistance in their homes.
- The robot descends from the ceiling to pick up clutter, wipe surfaces, and load the dishwasher before tucking itself back in.
- Using a ceiling robot to perform tasks avoids the need to navigate on cluttered floors, said Dan Helmick, robotics fleet learning co-lead at Toyota's Research Institute.
- TRI also showed off an air-filled bubble gripper for picking up household items and a floor-based mobile robot with the same capabilities as the ceiling bot.
- Toyota launched its Research Institute focused on AI, automated driving, and robotics innovations in 2015 via a $1b investment. It's also planning to build a robot-powered "city of the future" near Mount Fuji.