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Toyota wants to bring companion robots to every household

Toyota wants to bring companion robots to every nursing home, hospital and household.

The Japanese firm has been working on the HSR, Human Support Robot, which is the robot equivalent of their Corolla cars, and is simply a retractable arm, complete with a screen at the top and two eyes to give it resemblance of a human.

The robot is able to carry out simple tasks such as organising books on a shelf, tidying a room and placing a pair of slippers in the right direction for a human to step into them, as seen in a recent demo.

Though Toyota don't want to say when their autonomous assistant could become a common fixture in elderly homes and hospitals, Masanori Sugiyama, a former manager in the robot program, predicts it could happen in the new few years.

However, for more complex tasks, such as interacting with human emotion, the wait could be a lot longer.

According to Bloomberg, Masanori said: "They need to be able to understand what people are thinking and have empathy. The idea is for the robot to be a friend."

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