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21 Nov, 2017 11:25

Friend or foe: Will Toyota robot aid or challenge humans? (VIDEO)

Friend or foe: Will Toyota robot aid or challenge humans? (VIDEO)

It’s long been feared technological advancement could render human workers obsolete, but now Toyota has released a robot that works in tandem with real people, to get work done.

T-HR3 is the car manufacturer’s third generation humanoid robot. Bearing a likeness to the highly intelligent machines in Hollywood blockbuster ‘I, Robot’, the device is controlled by a secondary “master maneuvering system”.

The robot was built to explore how AI might be used to facilitate heavy lifting in disaster-stricken areas, construction sites, as well as space.

Depending on how you look at it, the device either shows robots and humans can work comfortably together, or that AI is another step closer to mastering the art of being a fully fledged employee.

Toyota’s robot engineering chief Akifumi Tamaoki suggests the former, saying his team are hoping to develop “friendly and helpful” robots that can coexist with humans.

“Looking ahead, the core technologies developed for this platform will help and inform and advance development of robots to provide ever-better mobility for all,” he said.

READ MORE: Rise of the machines: Is it time to take killer robots seriously? (VIDEOS, POLL)

With the help of more than 40 sensors, a human operator can take full control of the T-HR3’s bodily functions. A headset allows the user to see with the eyes of the robot in 3D.

Footage released by Toyota portrays a nimble, almost elegant, robot. It shows the large device toying with a balloon and balancing on one leg. Tamaoki added that in the future the hardware could also be harnessed to help people with mobility issues.