Japanese startup Jinki Ittai has built a gigantic humanoid industrial robot that can be remote-controlled by a human operator, as seen in footage captured at a railway museum in Kyoto.
The towering automata is designed to perform a variety of heavy-duty maintenance tasks such as railway or road repairs by lifting massive objects like steel pipes and wires.
Operators use special goggles to be able to see through the ‘eyes’ of the robot They sit in a cabin and control the precise movements of the machine’s arms through two large levers. The robot can even detect the amount of pressure applied with each gesture.
“It can interact flexibly with people and manipulate unknown objects as humans desire. This is possible because of the robot’s ability to manipulate forces with precision and flexibility, and because of the close connection between the human and the robot,” said Kanaoka Hakase, President of Jinki Ittai.
Hakase hopes his curious creation will revolutionise the world of heavy-duty labour, allowing human workers to complete dangerous but essential chores from a safe distance.
“We want to mechanise the work that inevitably has to be done by humans. Then, we need a robot that can do anything, not a specialised machine, but a general-purpose robot. We need a robot that can do anything; people can manipulate that as they wish,” he said.
Jinki Ittai’s heavy humanoid machinery will hit the market in 2024. JR West and Nippon Signal, two of the largest railway operators in Japan, have already placed purchase orders.