When Toyota announced its initial $50 million investment in September, Pratt said he sees the world’s biggest automaker -- with its $8.85 billion annual r&d budget -- as having the heft to make a huge impact on the field of robotics.
“Thinking about modern cars as being different from robots is wrong. What a future car is going to be is a robot,” he said at the time. “It senses and thinks and acts, and of course it has this person inside of it who is assisting as well. So the robot and the person are working together in order to get around.”
But Pratt added that his project is working on more than just cars. He envisions other applications in homes and factories.
Said Pratt: “What this project is actually about is fundamental technology that can be applied both in vehicles that transport goods and people outside the home, and for robots that work inside of the home too.''
-- Gabe Nelson contributed to this report.