Now we have a robot builder that can hang plaster

Picture: AIST/YouTube

Japanese researchers have built a robot that can hang plaster.

Things were looking a bit grim for Japan’s peerless robot heritage after Honda announced it was winding down its Asimo humanoid back in June

Thankfully, the team at the Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) picked up the baton and has rolled out HRP-5P.

Robot plasterer, get me a sheet of plaster:

Robot plasterer, bring the plaster over here:

Robot plasterer, hang the plaster:

So now we have Hadrian X, the robot bricklayer that can lay up to 1,000 bricks an hour, working on the structure.

AutoSaw, the robot to cut and carry timber for the walls.

And HRP-5P for the interior surfaces.

AIST makes no bones about it – HRP-5P “aims to autonomously replace human labor work and dangerous environment work”.

At 182cm tall and weighing 101kg, it can lift “tatami-sized” objects, and using environment measurement and object recognition technology, screw them into the right place.

AIST developed the robot with the help of several private enterprises, including Kawada Robotics. Some of the mobility technology has evolved out of a disaster-response robot project HRP-2 it has worked on since 2011.

Out of that, it achieved a humanoid robot capable of “semi-autonomous execution of tasks such as irregular terrain walking and valve turning based on measurement”.

Basically, AIST powered up HRP-2 and gave it more flexibility, a head complex sensor to take three-dimensional measurements of the surrounds in real-time, and an image database coupled with high precision AR markers so it doesn’t pick up a hammer instead of a power screwdriver.

Picture: AIST

But it’s not about saving money or time for construction teams, even though it probably will, eventually. Here’s really what’s behind AIST’s work:

“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.

AIST will reveal more about HRP-5P at the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems on right now in Madrid until October 5, and it will be on show at the World Robot Expo 2018 in Tokyo from October 17-21.

Here’s the full demonstration:

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