Japanese rail firm rolls out VR-piloted Gundam robotic employee

The West Japan Rail Company has launched video of its new humanoid heavy tools robotic. Mounted on the top of a crane, this gundam-style robotic torso mimics the arm and head motions of a human pilot, who sees by way of the robotic’s eyes by way of VR goggles.

The key aims right here, in line with the corporate, are “to improve productivity and safety,” enabling employees to elevate and naturally manipulate heavy tools across the rail system with out exposing them to the danger of electrical shocks or falling.

The robotic’s massive torso is mounted to a hydraulic crane arm, which rides across the rail system on a specifically braced rail automotive, placing down stabilizing legs when it is time to get to work.

A human pilot places on a set of VR goggles, that are motion-tracked to regulate the actions of a Wall-E-style head with stereo imaginative and prescient. Gripping a pair of handles, the pilot is ready to transfer the robotic’s arms and fingers – and if an exterior drive like a weight strikes the robotic’s arms, this movement is mirrored again to the pilot’s controls.

The robot is mounted on a rail maintenance car

The robotic is mounted on a rail upkeep automotive

JR West

A video launched on Twitter reveals the robotic lifting and positioning some fairly sizeable elements, in addition to cleansing overhead rail constructions with a particular multi-angle brush. It grips all these instruments in what seem like comparatively easy clamp-like “hands,” displaying an affordable diploma of dexterity, albeit working at a reasonably gradual pace.

The pilot moves a pair of handles to control the robot's arms and hands, and these handles also deliver force feedback to the pilot when external forces move the robot's arms, or prevent them from moving

The pilot strikes a pair of handles to regulate the robotic’s arms and fingers, and these handles additionally ship drive suggestions to the pilot when exterior forces transfer the robotic’s arms, or forestall them from shifting

JR West

Typically, any try to make a robotic look humanoid would make us suppose it in all probability does not work in addition to it may if it did not look humanoid. But on this case, it is smart: the pilot can rapidly achieve a kinetic really feel for working the robotic, since its arms and head are in acquainted locations relative to at least one one other.

JR West is growing this machine in partnership with Human Machinery co. and Nippon Signal co. We cannot divine what’s subsequent for this broad-shouldered beast from the press launch, however you possibly can benefit from the video under.

Source: JR West

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