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The field of robotics has seen significant developments these past few years. Innovators from all around the world have been building robots for medical, industrial, safety, and even defense-related purposes. But perhaps the most controversial and exciting are the robots that move and function similarly to people. The HRP-5P robot built by Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) is one of them. Division Humanoid Research Group to be exact.

The HRP-5P, presently in prototype stage is designed to work in construction sites to perform many of the functions that are regularly assigned to human workers. While lacking in speed, the HRP-5P has demonstrated visible levels of accuracy and precision. AIST is developing HRP-5P with the complex requirements posed by a construction environment. The robot has demonstrated the capacity to work with drywall as well as construction tools.

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Building robotic potential

The HRP-5P is an impressive machine. It weighs 101kg and is 182 cm tall. It uses sensors situated on its head to navigate the three-dimensional world around it. When its vision is obstructed by objects, HRP-5P is capable of avoiding obstacles via its sensors as well as its memory. The robot is also said to be significantly faster than its predecessors.

Also interesting: Self-Driving and Building Construction Robots Take Charge

The machine has already publicly demonstrated its capabilities in a video where it took individual sheets of drywall and screwed them into place.

The developers are also planning to work alongside scientists from the private sector and the academe to improve humanoid robots geared towards practical work. In the near future, they hope to be able to deploy the robot for the construction of large structures such as ships, houses, and buildings.

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Helping Japan build its future

AIST indicated that their intent in the development of the HRP-5P is not to replace human workers. Rather, it is to address a foreseen shortage in human construction workers. According to an interview with the developers on New Atlas, they state, “Along with the declining birthrate and the aging of the population, it is expected that many industries such as the construction industry will fall into serious manual shortages in the future, and it is urgent to solve this problem by robot technology.”

Japan is currently facing the challenge of an aging population. One of the solutions being proposed is the increased use of AI and Robots.

Construction robots are on the rise

The HRP-5P is just one of the latest in the long line of robots created to make the lives of people easier. In fact, it isn’t even the first to be developed for the construction industry. Construction Robotics, an American company, has already come up with a bricklaying robot that is 3 times faster than a human mason. TECNALIA, a Spanish firm has partnered the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia to create the Cogiro, a massive 3D-printing robot capable of creating small structures and architectural elements.


YouTube: Japanese Drywall Robot HRP-5P from AIST [Demonstration]

Photo credit: Courtesy of AIST
Source: AIST press release (Japanese), New Atlas

paul prieto

Neophyte dad, frustrated techy, incoherent writer, all-around average everyday normal guy.