Representational image. Photo courtesy: Unsplash

West Japan Railway has employed a giant humanoid robot to aid its maintenance work, as per reports. As per an AFP report, the robot was designed to do painting and gardening work.

Representational image. Photo courtesy: Unsplash

The new employee has been likened to “an enormous, malevolent robot from 1980s sci-fi”. The robot started its tenure earlier this month.

The robot’s operator sits in a cockpit on the truck, and monitors everything through cameras fitted in the humanoid’s eyes. The entire operation is done remotely.

As per reports, the robot boasts of vertical reach of 40 feet. It can also carry weight up to 40 kilograms, hold a brush to paint or use a chainsaw to cut through objects.

In the initial state, the new employee will focus on trimming tree branches along rails and painting metal frames that hold cables above trains, the report said, quoting West Japan Railway.

The new employment has been done to reduce accidents and bridge the gap of worker shortages, the company added.

“In the future, we hope to use machines for all kinds of maintenance operations of our infrastructure,” and this should provide a case study for how to deal with the labour shortage, company president Kazuaki Hasegawa told a recent press conference.