Japanese Company Creates Huge VR-Piloted Robot To Work On The Railroad

A moving Gundam from Gundam Factory Yokohama in Yokohama City (not the railway robot). Image credit: Rodrigo Reyes Marin/shutterstock.com

A Japanese rail company has built a prototype of a gigantic robot that can carry out large-scale maintenance and building tasks.

The robot, which is 32 feet (9.7 meters) tall, can be piloted by a human using VR headsets and hand controls. When it is ready – which is predicted to be sometime in 2024 – it will be used to fix and maintain power lines rather than pummel gigantic monsters or other Gundams destroying the city of Tokyo.

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The West Japan Rail Company created the robot  "to improve productivity and safety", as reported by New Atlas.

Workers will be able to use the robot – looking through its eyes using VR headsets – to lift heavy loads and carry out tasks without the risk of falling or electric shocks. It is mounted on a crane arm, which is attached to a rail car, allowing it to be transported to where it is needed.

The company says in a press release that the movement of the operator and the robot are linked and that the controls are intuitive, with feedback on the weight held by the robot fed back to the operator.

They are aiming to be able to use the robot practically, and have it for sale perhaps for other purposes (see: Mothra rampages), by 2024.

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