JR West, also known as the West Japan Rail Company, has introduced its massive worker robot, according to New Atlas. This robot can handle dangerous tasks too risky for humans. While we have previously reported on various robot types, including humanoid robots with incredibly lifelike expressions, a giant humanoid robot is a novel sight.
How does it work?
The robot boasts a human-like torso and a pair of hands capable of performing a variety of tasks, such as cleaning power lines using a multi-angle brush. It’s not just a cleaning robot, though; it can also conduct maintenance using its clamp-like hands that work with various tools. The robot’s “eyes” are two digital cameras positioned atop the torso and controlled by a human operator via a VR headset. Motion-tracking allows the operator to maneuver the cameras, while handles provide control over the robot’s arms and hands. If the arms are subjected to external force, the information is transmitted to the operator for necessary action. The hydraulic crane supporting the torso enables the robot to handle heavy loads.
Caution! Work in progress
The robot, a prototype developed by Nippon Signal and Human Machinery Company, is functional but still in the early stages of development. It is set to begin full-time operations in 2024 and is expected to spawn similar robots to take humans out of hazardous jobs, such as working with electric lines and at great heights. Although it may take a bit longer to complete tasks compared to humans, it is deemed worth every yen spent on it as it eliminates the risk to human life. We eagerly anticipate seeing this first-of-its-kind robot in action soon.