Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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New Giant Robot in Japan Set for Railway Tasks

speed train on rail
Photo by Donald Tong on

West Japan Railway unveiled a huge humanoid robot to maintain its train lines in a development reminiscent of a science fiction blockbuster. With huge arms and a Wall-E-like head, it is one full-size machine that will revolutionize the way railway maintenance is done.

Mounted on a truck capable of driving on rails, the robot is operated by a technician who sits in a cockpit, viewing the world through the robot’s cameras. With a vertical reach of 40 feet, the robot can handle various tasks using different attachments, including carrying objects up to 88 pounds, painting, and even using a chainsaw.

First to be deployed, the robot will trim tree branches alongside the rails and paint metal frames that hold up cables above the trains. It is part of innovative technology trying to bridge the manpower gap in Japan’s graying population while reducing accidents, like falling from heights or electric shock.

“In the future, we hope to use machines for all kinds of maintenance operations of our infrastructure,” company president Kazuaki Hasegawa said recently during a press conference, saying the initiative could act as a case study for dealing with labor shortages.

As Japan’s workforce continues to age, this giant robot may just be the ticket to ensure railway maintenance operations are carried out safely and effectively.


  • Japan Unveils Giant Humanoid Robot for Secluded Train Line Maintenance.

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