Mahoro is a new, 8 foot robot in Japan that currently handles ‘dangerous’ lab work. The robot is able to complete many tasks, which takes years of training for most people, much quicker and more precise than any technician would be able to.
Its 7 joint arm differs from the standard 6 or less jointed robots made in factories, and Tohru Natsume, the team leader of biological systems control team at AIST claims this improves the flexibility of the arm by allowing more elbow movement. Additionally, Tohru insists that this work is very hazardous, and so it should be done by robots.
When Mahoro’s work was compared with professional lab technicians, Mahoro was considerably more precise and only consumed half the time. Many people believe creating a robot of this level requires a ton of advanced programming, but developers ensure it can be developed on a computer using minimal programming.
Tohru also claims that Mahoro can be “taught easily”. Using a 3D scanner, developers at AIST and Yaskawa are able to create a virtual bench and a virtual robot which allows them to simply click and record commands which the robot will carry out.
Mahoro robots are used in labs at pharmaceutical companies and universities all across the world, supplied by Nikkyo Technos and experts expect a collaboration of people and robots is likely to begin within the next decade.
However, until Mohoro’s safety is improved, its likelihood of working alongside technicians is rare.