JR West Unveils New High-Flying Humanoid Robot

Society

Railway operator JR West is developing a humanoid robot to carry out maintenance on or near aerial lines and other lofty places. The remote-controlled robot enables workers equipped with a virtual reality headset and a controller to service overhead wires that transmit electricity to trains, including replacing parts and trimming back or removing nearby trees, while remaining safely on the ground.

In developing the robot, JR West aims to make the upkeep of aerial lines safer for workers by lowering the risk of such on-the-job accidents as electrocution and falls. At the same time, it will be able to reduce its maintenance force by a third. The company expects to put the robot into full service by early 2024.

(Originally published in Japanese on FNN’s Prime Online on April 16, 2022. Translated and edited by Nippon.com.)

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