Toyota's HSR meets a real life hero!
Toyota Research Institute’s Cloud Robotics Team recently had the opportunity to work with a fellow named Romy Carmago. Not only does Romy have a great sense of humor, but he also knows a thing or two about beating the odds. You see, Romy is a veteran of the United States Army who was critically injured during his third deployment to Afghanistan. The soldiers were able to repel the attack and get Romy to a medevac in time to save his life, but he was paralyzed from the shoulders down. Medical experts told him he would never be able to breathe without a ventilator, but he does. Doctors told him he would never be able to walk or use his arms again, but he is determined that he will.
Romy established the Stay In Step rehab facility near his hometown of Tampa, FL, with Toyota's support. This facility provides programs and equipment to allow quadriplegics and paraplegics the ability to stand and exercise. This training facility literally helps people get back on their feet.
At TRI, we believe that we can improve the quality of life of people like Romy by increasing their mobility and independent living through artificial intelligence and robotic technologies. You can think of TRI as a training facility for robots including Toyota’s Human Support Robot (HSR) which is designed to assist people in their everyday activities. When our team was invited to demonstrate an in-home trial with Romy, of course HSR had to begin its own training program.
Though small in stature, HSR is determined to go the distance. The team completed their first in home trial of HSR with Romy. This trial consisted of two simple tasks to help Romy throughout his day. One was the robot opening the front door for him when he approached, and the other was feeding him water on demand. We have a long way to go before this technology will be ready for the real world, but this is only round one. We look forward to continuing to expand HSR’s abilities and one day increasing the independent living of people like Romy.