All the videos about this or that robotic invention don't precisely suggest that genuine, humanoid robots are very involved in humanity's daily workings, but Kawada Industries really wants to show that they are.
As such, the company has created an actual robot that can work alongside human beings.
This isn't just some prototype that won't make it to market until years have passed, if ever.
In fact, the Nextage is already available and was captured in action on video.
"At Kawada Industries, we developed bipedal robots in the late 1990s, and we made them into commercial products. So we think it's logical for robots that work together with people to be human-shaped,” the company says.
On 80W or less of power, Nextage will contribute to the productivity of workers by carrying out tasks that don't involve fast movement or large objects.
Two arms with 12 joints each will do most of the job (they can be positioned within 30 microns even) and a high-speed stereo camera lets it identify where it is and render three-dimensional images of the environment.
“We’ve created these robots to work alongside people, and to cooperate with people in the same environment. Work done by people doesn’t involve handling large objects or moving very fast. Our aim is for industrial robots to do human work like that, so people can be more productive by working together with robots,” says Kawada.
The robot will cease all operation when a human worker gets close enough, to minimize any chance of work accidents.
One Nextage costs about 7 or 8 million yen, which is about $90,041 - $102,000 (67,320-76,937 Euro). Now what remains is to see how corporations go about things, knowing that there already aren't enough jobs for humans to go around.
"What we'd especially like you to notice here is that, in tasks like handling soft items, these three robots can do the job in coordination, via a network."