The future is getting closer every day, and it’s starting to look like James Cameron’s Avatar (okay, without the 10-foot blue aliens). Toyota has revealed that it has successfully linked an off-site human with its T-HR31 humanoid robot thanks to 5G wireless technology from Japanese telecom NTT Docomo. What’s especially amazing about this is that the human controlling the robot was 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) away.
The T-HR31 humanoid robot works by having a human host strapped into a control harness with hand, arm, and foot controls. As the human controller moves her body, the T-HR31 humanoid robot moves in kind. The human sees everything the robot sees through a HUD, and the human even feels when the robot touches objects thanks to force feedback in the hand, arm, and foot controls.
Previously to being controlled via a 5G mobile network, the T-HR31 humanoid robot had only been successfully controlled through a direct wired connection. The merge over 5G shows just how transformative the new technology could be when it starts rolling out to cities worldwide next year. And as the control of the T-HR31 shows, the world could be a very different place in the upcoming years, one in which remotely controlled robots carry out tasks that are too dangerous for human workers.