West Japan Railway Company, also known as JR West, has unveiled a giant robot used to perform tasks considered dangerous to humans. Although Japan is a robot powerhouse, this kind of giant humanoid robot is rare.
JR West’s robot has a humanoid body and a pair of robotic arms to perform a variety of jobs. It can clean power lines with specially designed multi-angle brush. Of course, this robot is not only for cleaning purposes, but it is also capable of performing maintenance tasks using a clamping arm that is compatible with a range of other tools.
Video of giant robot doing repair work.
Placed on top of the body is a pair of digital cameras that act as eyes for the operator. It is worth mentioning that the engineer will control the robot through a virtual reality (VR) headset.
Using motion tracking, the engineer will control the movement of the cameras, while a pair of handles will help him control the robot’s arms and hands. If an external force is applied to the robot arm, it will be returned to its original position for easy handling by the operator.
Besides, the Robot is also equipped with a hydraulic crane that makes it possible to do some heavy lifting.
JR West’s robot is still a prototype, developed by Nippon Singal and Human Machinery Company. The first robot of its kind will be put to work full-time in 2024.
From now to 2024, it is highly likely that other giant robots will replace humans in risky jobs involving power lines and working at heights.