Toyota i-UNIT (left) & i-REAL (right)
Toyota recently gave a demonstration of their i-REAL personal mobility vehicle at the AMLUX center in Ikebukuro, with music provided by two of their lovely Partner Robots and a pair of equally lovely human musicians. It was a special “Robot & Human Concert” that ran four times a day over the weekend (19th ~ 2oth). It’s a bit disappointing that the robots weren’t performing new material (the songs are the same as those originally played at their debut, as well as from the Shanghai World Expo). You’d think at least one individual at Toyota would take the time, even unpaid, to program the robots to play some new songs (I know I would!).
The i-REAL was only one example of Toyota’s 2005 vision of what personal mobility might look like in the near future. The version shown in the videos below appears to be a combination of the original i-REAL with the canopy elements from the bulkier i-UNIT. Toyota’s other ideas for personal mobility include such outlandish designs as the i-foot, the Mobiro (a robotic, self-balancing wheelchair), the i-SWING (a contained single passenger vehicle), and the Winglet (which might be described as a miniaturized and much more portable Segway).
Videos follow after the break, featuring the Violin-playing Robot and an extended demonstration of Toyota’s i-REAL personal mobility vehicle.