Kawasaki debuted two robots at 2022 International Robot Exhibition in Tokyo.
The company provided a demonstration, showing a person riding it’s goat-shaped robot.
Robot use has become more popular in recent months as companies combat labor shortages.
Kawasaki, best known for its motorcycles, debuted a four-legged rideable robot at the world’s largest robot trade show last week.
The robot, Bex, was created by the company’s Kaleido program, which has been working on developing humanoid robots in Japan since 2015. Spectators got their first view of the robot at the 2022 International Robot Exhibition (iREX) in Tokyo.
Videos from the event show the dexterity of the goat-shaped robot, which can alternate its limbs like Boston Dynamic’s robot dog. The Bex can also lower itself and transport itself on wheels — a move that the program’s lead engineer, Masayuki Soube, said could help provide a short-term solution to the balance issues robots face.
The video also shows a demonstrator riding astride the Bex, using the robot as a type of vehicle. Riders can control the robot via handlebars. Though, the company did not give any specifics on the robot’s speed capacity, the video shows the robot goat moving at a slow pace.
Kaleido said on its website that the Bex can carry up to 220 pounds, including human passengers. Soube said the product is still in development, but anticipated it could be used to carry cargo in warehouses and factories. The robot has a modular upper body, meaning the goat construction can be removed if needed.
The company also debuted a humanoid robot at the Tokyo event. Soube said they created the robot to be used for anything from factory work and disaster relief to nursing home care. In its demonstration, the bi-pedal robot dances and waves at the audience.
Soube said that traditionally robots have been operated by programmers, but the humanoid robot is able to learn intuitively, using motion capture.
The practical use of robots has come more into play since the pandemic as companies struggled to combat labor shortages. Last year, American companies ordered a record 29,000 robots.
Insider’s Kate Duffy previously reported that companies have turned to robots for some tasks, such as writing thank-you letters to colleagues and carrying plates from a restaurant kitchen to servers.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said he believes robots will help create a future where “physical work will be a choice.” Last summer, Tesla revealed plans for its own humanoid robot, Optimus.
In January, Musk predicted that the robot would eventually become a bigger business than the company’s electric cars and said Tesla aims to have an Optimus prototype ready by the end of the year.
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