Toyota has been exploring robotic applications for quite some time-- even before its President, Akio Toyota, hired Gill Pratt, chief executive officer of Toyota Research Institute, last year. The institute is funded by Toyota with $1 billion for five years. The company also wants to apply its own production system to make robots and AI more accessible and affordable.
This move is aligned with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push for "robot revolution" in Japan, which aims to more than quadruple its robotics industry sales to ¥2.4 trillion ($23 billion) by 2020.
Learn more about one of Toyota Research Institute's product by watching this video:
Toyota has been developing motorized wheelchairs that scale stairs and other helper devices aimed to assist patients with visual impairments and those who are bedridden.
Toyota Research Institute is one of the prospective buyers of Boston Dynamics after Alphabet Inc., Google's parent company, put it on sale. Toyota now forges ahead of Google after Alphabet Inc. decided that the technology giant isn't likely to produce a profitable product within the next few years.