AIST, one of the largest public research institutes in Japan, has created a humanoid robot that it claims is capable of basic construction work.
Called the HRP-5P, the prototype robot has been designed to autonomously carry out construction work in hazardous environments, reducing risk to human workers.
Citing Japan’s declining birth-rate and ageing population, the robot’s creators saw a need to automate heavy duty construction work.
The robot’s creators said it combines several recent advancements in technology including environmental measurement, object recognition technology, and whole-body motion planning.
Standing at 182cm tall, and weighing 101kg, the HRP-5P is already capable of basic functions. The machine walks upright on two legs and is shown in a promotion video to pick up, carry, and secure dry wall panels to a timber frame using a nail gun.
A complex array of sensors in the robot’s head constantly scans the robot’s environment, and records measurements of objects, allowing the robot to navigate its environment.
While designing humanoid robots with legs is challenging, senior AIST researchers hope this will mean the robot will be able to enter existing construction environments, and be highly adaptable to a wide range of functions.
In the future the company hopes that robots like this prototype can be deployed in not only construction roles, but in the assembly of ships and aircraft as well.
The prototype will be publicly displayed at the World Robot Expo 2018, held from October 17 to 20 in Tokyo.
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