Well, I knew this day would come... Sorry to say that it looks like human labor is one day closer to not being needed for anything. Maybe it's not that bad but based on the fact that the HRP-5P has just shocked the world with its amazing abilities. And the real possibility these robots will be rolled out in mass production as soon as they're production ready makes it look quite likely. The HRP-5P is a humanoid robot from Japan’s Advanced Industrial Science and Technology Institute that can perform common construction tasks including the installation of drywall.
But don't take my word for it, check out this video:
HRP-5P uses environmental measurement, object detection and motion planning to perform various tasks.
The video above illustrates how the robot is able to use small hooks to grab the wallboard and slide it off onto the floor. Then, with a bit of maneuvering, it’s able to place the board against the joists and drill them in place.
“By utilizing HRP-5P as a development platform of industry-academia collaboration, it is expected that research and development for practical use of humanoid robots in building construction sites and assembly of large structures such as aircraft and ships will be accelerated,” write the creators.
The researchers see the robot as a replacement for an aging population and a declining birth rate. “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,” the write. “Also, at work sites assembling very large structures such as building sites and assembling of aircraft / ships, workers are carrying out dangerous heavy work, and it is desired to replace these tasks with robot technology. However, at the assembly site of these large structures, it is difficult to develop a work environment tailored to the robot, and the introduction of robots has not progressed.”
Based on the fact that there are 6 million contractors in the U.S. alone, robots like this one may step in and create a paradigm shift which requires consumers to make some hard choices. Do you prefer the work of a human over the work of a robot? If the answer is yes, you may find yourself walking around with a 'Support Human Labor' t-shirt in protest in the not too distant future. What happens when we can easily replace humans in shipping, logistics and construction?
These are just a few of the questions that must be asked while there's still time. Thanks for reading @techblogger!