World renowned automaker Toyota has developed a robot that would bring paralysed Army ranger, Romy Carmago water and snacks, and will also open his front door for him. The company spent three days testing with the Army ranger. The experiments are an early step toward in-home robots that cater to the needs of the elderly and disabled.
"For me, it's really comforting that I can still do things by myself and not have to depend on anybody else." Camargo said after the experience. Camargo was paralyzed by a gunshot to the neck in Afghanistan nine years ago.
Toyota made a list of tasks the robot would perform to help Carmago. At the top of the list was water. Carmago tries to dring at least 1.5 gallon of water every day to keep his kidneys running smoothly. Toyota put a QR code on the bottle so the robot could easily identify it. The robot relies on sensor placed on its head and has a large arm to grab objects.
Toyota also used facial recognition technology to have the robot open the front door of Camargo's home. If Carmago is outside the door without his phone, the robot will open the door using the camera placed on the front door.
The robot still has a lot to improve on. It wasn’t able to fill the water bottle independently. In the long term, nations with aging populations such as Japan are expected to generate demand for the robots. It will be years before they're ready, but Camargo is still filled with hope....