KIYOSU, Japan—Toyoda Gosei Co. Ltd. has invested in data and cloud computing business Uhuru Corp. as it aims to further develop its e-Rubber technology.
Based in Minato-Ku Japan, Uhuru provides software systems and "has a solid track record" regrading the Internet of Things and cloud computing, Toyoda Goseis said in a news release.
The investment, the details of which were not disclosed, is part of Toyoda Gosei's long-term initiative to create new businesses and develop products for connected, autonomous, shared and electric vehicles.
As part of this effort, Toyoda Gosei is looking to add value to e-Rubber, a material that moves when voltage is applied. It can also function as a thin, flexible pressure sensor.
In 2018, the company was using its e-Rubber to develop artificial muscles for robots—the soft actuators offering a new source of motive power to replace electromagnetic motors, tactile/pressure sensors and motion sensors.
The collaboration with Uhuru, it said, will help to enhance the product by harnessing the data gained from sensors.
Toyoda Gosei also is collaborating with other partners to broaden the application of the product.
Last year, the Japanese company invested $1.1 million to take a 7.6 percent stake in the Tokyo-based start-up QBIT Robotics Corp., which focuses on robot systems development for the the service industry, specifically food and entertainment. At the time, Toyoda Gosei said the robotics expertise would help to enhance its e-Rubber technology.