'The plummeting birth rate and aging workforce in Japan has forced its populace to resort to using robots for its increasing labor needs. An article on Geek.com reported that researchers have come up with a humanoid robot that will replace human workers in the construction industry.
Created by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), the HRP-5P construction robot cuts a rather imposing figure. It is six feet tall and vaguely resembles one of those clunky monstrosities from old sci-fi movies, the ones that always rebel and try to murder their human masters.
As the name implies, it is the fifth model of an increasingly long line of androids. The harbinger of the future robot economy of Japan was HRP-1, which first debuted in 1998.
While HRP-5P is the latest and most advanced unit, the earlier incarnations are still being used. The older HRP-2 Reinforcement was upgraded before serving as the AIST representative at the 2015 DARPA Robotics challenge, an international competition where autonomous robots sought to accomplish various tasks such as driving cars.
New Japanese robot gains the movement range of human construction workers
AIST has spent the last 20 years working on giving their robots sufficient capabilities to accomplish all kinds of jobs with minimal human control. Some of the HRP series’ most significant achievements involve crossing rough terrain and turning valves with precision.
However, while the humanoid robots could pull off delicate tasks with ease, they did not possess the physical capability of human workers when it came to heavy duty work. The earlier models were unable to replicate truly human movement in complex environments such as construction sites.'
Read more: Japanese researchers develop a prototype humanoid robot aimed at eventually replacing human labourers
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7 January 2019
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