Toyota Motor Corporation engages in the design, manufacture, assembly, and sale of passenger cars, minivans, and commercial vehicles. It sells its vehicles in approximately 170 countries and regions, including Japan, North America, Europe, and Asia.
Beyond manufacturing vehicles, Toyota also focuses its efforts on interconnected traffic & safety systems, human assisting robots and new modes of personal transport.
Toyota Group has been developing industrial robots since 1970, for use mainly in welding, painting, and manufacturing processes. The goal was to improve quality and reduce costs.
In addition, Toyota also develops humanoid robots. The company aims to build robots that are able to assist with human activities in applications such as assistance, elderly care, manufacturing, and mobility.
In 2007, the company unveiled the newest additions to its Toyota Partner Robots. The mobility robot, capable of autonomous movement, provides assistance with short-distance personal transport.
According to the company, their Partner Robots are geared towards assisting people in four main fields: 1) domestic duties, 2) nursing and medical care, 3) manufacturing and 4) short-distance personal transport.
Toyota’s robot product offerings include the Human Support Robot, a compact and lightweight robot developed to assist people in their everyday activities, the Care Assist Robot used in many care and medical facilities, among many others.
Toyota’s most recent humanoid robot prototype (one of many partner robots the automotive giant is developing) stands 130cm tall and weighs 50Kgr. Its legs have 7 degrees of freedom and it can run at an average speed of 7 km/h. In contrast, Honda’s ASIMO’s maximum speed is 6km/h. The Toyota researchers had to develop new real-time methods for balance control. These methods make it possible for the robot to remain balanced when an external force such as a push from a human is applied when in motion.
Toyota Motor Corporation has collaboration with Microsoft Corporation for the development and deployment of telematics applications on the Windows Azure platform for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
In an effort to further their engagement into robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), the company established the Toyota Research Institute, Inc. (TRI), in Silicon Valley, California in January 2016. With TRI, Toyota’s goal is to speed up the development of AI with applications to smarter and safer vehicles and robots that can make our lives better at home.
In 2017, Toyota unveiled the Concept-i car that uses an AI system called Yui that is designed to engage with drivers and keep them aware of their surroundings.
The company was founded in 1933 and is headquartered in Toyota City, Japan.
Akio Toyoda, President & Director
Kiichiro Toyoda, Founder and Exec. VP
Katsuyuki Kusakawa, CFO & SNVP
Yoshihiro Inaba, NA Operations
Kazuo Okamoto, Director & Head of Research