Gill Pratt, the chief executive officer of Toyota Research Institute, made the comments to reporters on Friday. Last year he was hired to oversee Toyota’s robotics and artificial intelligence efforts, which include a wheelchair that walks up stairs, a wearable that acts as a guide for the blind, a device that helps retrieve objects for the bedridden, and sneakers for rehab patients learning to walk and stay balanced, reports Bloomberg.
“My thought is, if the Toyota production system can be applied to cars, maybe it can also be applied to robots, because they’re quite similar…The car of the future is as much about software as it is about hardware, and as you put software and hardware together, what you get is a robot. A robot is a kind of machine that senses and thinks and acts, and a mobile robot is one that does those things where the acting involves moving around…It is extraordinary that a very wide segment of society can afford cars. Cars are everywhere. I see no reason that robots couldn’t be everywhere as well.”