The Japanese manufacturer Kawasaki recently introduced a heavy-duty autonomous helicopter, and a few days ago the company showed how the machine is operated by a robotic loading and unloading system to save people labor and dangers.
The K-Racer X1 is a powerful cargo drone, about the size of a small car, he said NewAtlas. It rises thanks to a helicopter-style upper rotor, but where there is usually a tail rotor to balance torque, this machine uses two forward-facing struts mounted at the end of the thin wings. The supports are used for pointing forward, but also for some lifting.
Data on the parameters of the drone are scarce, but the manufacturer says it is capable of carrying a payload of up to 100 kg. In a video released earlier this month, Kawasaki shows a prototype of the helicopter in flight with a test of an automated delivery robot that charges the payload of the aircraft.
Meanwhile, Kawasaki announcedthat it is also working on larger mobile modules that can be integrated with other robotic systems in factories and delivery centers, so that the whole process is ultimately completely autonomous.
Automation is a critical challenge for Japan due to its aging population. According to data from 2014, 38% of the country’s population was over 60 years old – and this percentage is expected to increase. Robots will have to take on many of the human tasks, so a fully autonomous loading, transporting and unloading system could be important (and successful) in the future.