Yaskawa Electric’s MOTOMAN-DA20 industrial robot is intended to be a drop in replacement for people on the factory floor. With it’s two arms, and human sized torso the idea seems to be to get rid of the people and bolt down a new robotic replacement.
The Japanese have done it again. While part of me is scared about what could happen if robots took all those jobs from people, the other part is excited to see what these guys can do.
The robot has the ability to be fitted with any number of standard tools. It has a high degree of freedom in it’s movements which makes it flexible enough to use the tools while being fixed to the floor.
You may see this type of technology making it’s way into space as well. Similarly designed robots have been proposed for use on the space station as well as for Hubble repair missions. The ability to use standard tools from the humans toolbox is the key to enabling a platform on which to develop even more general skills. It also reduces the cost of development by removing the need to develop specialized tools for every robot. The factory operators would benefit because they wouldn’t have to replace all their tools.