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Wasp Exterminator Robot Defies Logic

Professor Sekine from Utsunomiya is developing a humanoid robot that can climb a ladder and spray insecticide to remove wasp nests.  Wasps won’t hesitate to sting anyone within 3 meters of their nest, and the professor’s friend has been stung more than 90 times while spraying nests as part of a local extermination effort.  Naturally, he asked the professor if a robot could be built to do the job instead of people.  They’ve been developing a partner robot for children, so why not build a humanoid to remove the pests?

Mohican (named for its mohawk, which was nicked from a local barbershop mannequin) stands 170cm (5’6″) tall.  It is made of lightweight metal and wood so that small motors can be used in its joints.  It is verbally commanded from a distance through a small microphone (“Climb the ladder”), while finer movements can be remotely controlled.  The robot’s unusual hairdo is supposed to be funny, so that people know it is friendly.  The plan is to start training with the robot so that it is ready for next spring.

This is a perfect example of using the wrong robot for a job.  I think they should get one of those quadcopters and equip it with a pesticide sprayer instead.  The project would be less complex and less costly, and with an on board camera to help navigate from a safe distance it could even be fun!

[source: Asahi (JP)] via [K.Moriyama (JP)]