It's been the new millennium for over a decade now. Not only do we not have personal jetpacks, there's also a distinct lack of robo-maids and robo-butlers. You might not be able buy a robotic house-slave tommorrow, but Toyota's newly announced Human Support Robot is a step in that direction.
The Human Support Robot is specifically designed for the purpose of aiding the disabled, but its "grab this, open that, put this away" functionality could easily be extended to the merely lazy. It stands 82cm tall, with a telescoping body that lets it grow to 131cm, and one 76cm arm complete with grasping claw. The HSR takes orders from its master via a tablet, which can also be put on the robot's head, letting it double as a telepresence robot.
When it comes to traversal, the HSR is designed for indoor use and can scoot around at a top speed of 3km/h, tackling any slight elevation shifts (hardwood to carpet, for instance) that stand in its way. Toyota has yet to release any information about the new robot's price or battery capacity, but considering its modest form factor and a handy Japanese law that places 90 per cent of the cost of a robotic assistance unit on public healthcare, the HSR could really take off. Well, at least in its home country.
It might still be a while before you can order your own personal robo-Jeeves to make you dinner, but a robotically assisted future appears to be on schedule. That means floating treadmills and personal jetpacks can't be too far behind, right? [Toyota via Gizmag]