And you control it with a VR setup!
A Japanese company is taking service robotics to a whole new level with a giant, humanoid maintenance robot.
As New Atlas and other blogs reported, the West Japan Rail Company, also known as JR West, is now using a humongous Gundam-style robot to fix remote railway power lines — and to make it even cooler, the robot is piloted by an actual human wearing a VR setup.
With a giant barrel-chested torso mounted on a hydraulic crane arm that can lift it up to 32 feet in the air, this maintenance robot’s head looks a bit like Pixar character “WALL-E” and moves in tandem with the motions of its human pilot who tells it where to look and what to do.
Riding the Rails
So far, this robot developed by the JR West in tandem with the Nippon Signal railway signal technology company is just a prototype and won’t be put to work widely until 2024. Nevertheless, it’s an awesome peek into the future of service robots, which up until now have mostly freaked people out as they chase them through stores — or worse, assist with police arrests and border patrolling.
Though it was made by the rail industry, there’s little doubt that once it’s available for purchase, other markets will be interested in getting in on the action.
May the future of service robots be more Gundam and less police bot!
READ MORE: Japanese rail company rolls out VR-piloted Gundam robot worker [New Atlas]
More awesome robots: Japanese Company Creates Suit That Turns You Into a Towering Mecha