Have Kawasaki’s robotics engineers been playing too much Horizon Zero Dawn? It certainly looks like it, as someone decided that it’d be a funny idea to play HEPHAESTUS and create a potential death machine out of what would normally be an innocent-looking mammal. Revealed at the 2022 International Robot Exhibition (iREX) in Tokyo last week, “Bex” is a four-legged walking Ibex that Kawasaki’s Kaleido team designed in their pursuit of a robot that could do more than the usual bi-pedal variety. In addition to a cargo capacity of around 220 pounds, Bex can even transform into an electric scooter of sorts by kneeling on the four pairs of wheels located on each of its knees.
Kawasaki’s Rideable Robotic Goat Is the Electric Car for Wandering Cowpokes (Gizmodo)
- The robotics engineers at Kawasaki were looking for a happy medium between the dexterity of a bipedal robot that can traverse uneven terrains with the reliability of a wheeled robot that avoids issues with balance by keeping all of its wheels on the ground at all times.
- […] when terrain starts to get uneven, the Bex can stand and maneuver on four highly-articulated legs using a gait that ensures at least half of them are touching the ground at any given time, greatly reducing the balancing act it needs to perform.
- […] Kawasaki has also designed the upper portion of the Bex to be completely modular. So customers who want to focus on carrying cargo can do away with the animal motif altogether, while those seeing an opportunity to modernize their cattle ranches could potentially go full equestrian with this robot and bring the cowpoke fully into the 21st century.