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Toyota, Preferred Networks to co-develop service robots

Toyota Motor Corp. on Aug. 7 said it will team up with software development company Preferred Networks, Inc. on research and development initiatives for Toyota's human support robot platform.

Under the partnership, the Japanese companies plan to roll out service robots that can learn different tasks and adapt to varying environments. In the joint release, Toyota and Preferred Networks said they are looking to build robots that can serve needs in industries beyond medicine and logistics, where robots are commonly used.

Toyota will initially loan several dozen of its human support robots to Preferred Networks, but over the next three years, the companies will share their respective information and technologies, including existing intellectual property.

The two will also be able to use the results of their joint research as they fit, according to the release. "Our goal is to realize the practical implementation of service robots for the first time in the world," Preferred Networks President and CEO Toru Nishikawa said in a statement.