If Japan’s Advanced Industrial Science and Technology Institute has its way, construction workers might be a thing of the past. Researchers have built HRP-5P, a humanoid bot that can handle a variety of construction tasks when there’s either a staffing shortage or serious hazards. The prototype uses a mix of environment detection, object recognition and careful movement planning to install drywall by itself — it can hoist up boards and fasten them with a screwdriver.
The design doesn’t have as much freedom of movement as a human being,but makes up for that with numerous joints that flex to degrees you wouldn’t see in real people. It won’t always look the most natural when doing its job, but it’ll be effective. It can also correct for slips, and it’s not deterred when it has a limited field of view.