Robot does household chores

Kyodo News

Toyota Motor Corp. and a research body of the University of Tokyo have jointly developed a prototype for what many busy career people have been dreaming of for a long time: A hardworking robot that handles household chores.

In a demonstration for reporters last week, the robot cleaned up rooms, smoothly put away dishes from a dining table and picked up shirts and put them in a washing machine.

The 155-cm, 130-kg humanoid robot excels in the capacity to distinguish and perceive objects such as furniture and cleaning equipment, its developers said.

The robot also analyzes past failures and corrects its behavior patterns, they said.

Toyota and Tokyo University’s Information and Robot Technology Research Initiative said the robot has been designed to help cope with the predicted labor shortage stemming from Japan’s aging society and low birthrate.

The developers said they will keep improving the robot and hope to start marketing it in around seven years.

The robot is equipped with two arms, five recognition cameras and laser sensors. It gets around on wheels.