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Building the future with humanoid robots

Humanoid robots developed to aid in heavy construction work


The construction industry faces a severe labor shortage in Japan and many other countries around the world. This shortage is expected to become even more acute in the future. To help reduce the burden of labor on human workers, Japan is exploring cutting-edge technologies such as wearable assistance robots and autonomous construction robots.

Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) has developed a prototype of a humanoid robot (HRP-5P) designed to operate autonomously for use in construction sites and environments hazardous to humans.

Adaptable robots for dynamic environments

In other industries, such as vehicle assembly lines, robots are deployed to complete a limited number of tasks in a static environment. A familiar example is a robotic arm on an assembly line. However, the dynamic nature of construction worksites requires robots that can move around changing workspaces and handle larger materials including plaster board and plywood.

Humans offers the best blueprint for mobility

Construction work requires adaptability to navigate uneven floors and small areas such as crawlspaces and attics. To move and work without restrictions, humanoid robots built to emulate human movement offer the most effective solution to supplement heavy labor in the construction industry.

Video: Successful test of automated construction work using actual materials

Robotics can help bring out the best in humanity

The automation of construction work was once considered to be exceptionally difficult. However, these newly-developed prototypes demonstrate the opportunities for robotics to assist with a wide range of hard labor. Japan will continue to support the development of innovative robotics that will allow humans to pursue more high value-added work, while also supplementing worker shortages to meet future demand.

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Last updated:2019-01-24