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Japanese Rail Company Rolls Out VR-Piloted Gundam Robot Worker


The virtual reality-piloted suit in action. .

Credit: JR West

The West Japan Rail Company, working with advanced robotics firm Human Machinery Co. and transportation infrastructure solutions provider Nippon Signal Co., has deployed a humanoid heavy equipment maintenance robot that is directed through virtual reality (VR).

The company said the robot is designed "to improve productivity and safety" by allowing workers to elevate and manipulate equipment around the rail system without risking electrocution or falls.

The robot's torso is mounted to a hydraulic crane arm, which rides around the system on a rail car, and drops stabilizing legs when in operation.

The operator wears motion-tracked VR goggles to control the movements of the unit’s head with stereo vision, and grips handles that direct the motions of the robot's arms and hands.

From New Atlas
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