Japan deploys humanoid robot for railway maintenance

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

It resembles a malevolent robot from 1980s sci-fi but West Japan Railway’s new humanoid employee was designed with nothing more sinister than a spot of painting and gardening in mind.

Starting this month, the machine with a crude head and coke-bottle eyes mounted on a truck—which can drive on rails—will be put to use for maintenance work on the firm’s network.
Its operator sits in a cockpit on the truck, “seeing” through the robot’s eyes via cameras and operating its powerful limbs and hands remotely.
With a vertical reach of 12 meters (40 feet), the …

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