Kawasaki’s new vehicle isn’t a GOAT. It is a goat.

Watch out, Boston Dynamics.
Ameya Paleja
Bex at the International Robotic ExhibitionKazumichi Moriyama/YouTube

This is not a joke or a play on the acronym GOAT.

Kawasaki, Japan's globally renowned motorcycle maker, has actually made a quadruped robot goat that has wheels and can carry a human being on its back, Engadget reported. The goat, named Bex, was showcased at the International Robot Exhibition in Tokyo. 

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Product of a bipedal robotic program

The goat was a product of the company's Kaleido program, under which it was developing bipedal robots since 2015. Apparently, the engineers were aiming to design a robot that could handle tricky terrain and there is hardly a better source of inspiration than the Ibex, a wild mountain goat found in Eurasia and Africa.

Bex can trot on its four legs and avoid obstacles on its own. While we do not know if it can really handle steep terrains like the Ibex, Kawasaki has confirmed that the robotic goat can be used to carry out site inspections remotely, and also be configured to carry cargo up to 220 pounds. This would basically mean that the top end of the robot will stop looking like a goat. 

Kawasaki’s new vehicle isn’t a GOAT. It is a goat.
Source: Kazumichi Moriyama/YouTube

Why a goat? 

As seen in the video, the robot also has wheels that can be brought into position by folding its legs and used to move rapidly on surfaces that are smooth. So, the engineers were clearly looking at the versatility of the robot and even achieved it to a certain extent. So, the goat head and lights are entirely unnecessary and the team has probably just put it together to make some news around it. 

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As one user on YouTube noted, "They spent so much time wondering if they could, they never stopped to think if they should."

That a robotic dog has caught everybody's attention, Kawasaki probably hopes that a goat will too, even at the risk of the company looking a bit silly. Guess, there are many other quadrupeds that could have been used. Probably, the dainty legs left the company with a few choices. 

Nevertheless, there is a long way to go, if the company is looking to displace Spot in the near future. 

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