Kawasaki has built a robotic goat you can ride. No, seriously…

Kawasaki answers a question nobody has surely ever asked by revealing the Bex Robogoat... are we looking at the next generation Kawasaki Versys?

Kawasaki Bex

We’ll just dive right in here, what you see above is a goat. A robotic goat, or rather a ‘robogoat’ if you will. It has been created by Kawasaki… oh, and you can ride it too. We’ll say it for you… huh?

Frankly, if we weren’t required to ensure every article meets the 250 word minimum (because what Google wants, Google gets if we ever want you to see anything we write), we’d be tempted just to end this piece with that baffling yet somehow neatly concise single paragraph. 

I mean, what more could you possibly say about a robot in - perplexingly - goat form? 

We’ll have a go anyway… right after we check Japan’s April Fool’s Day doesn’t happen to land in March. 

OK, so it doesn’t, so I’d better do a little bit of digging. 

While I do that, here is a video of ‘Bex’ - so-called after its inspiration, the (tenuous for a Japanese robot) Middle East native Ibex goat - that will probably ask more questions than it could possibly ever answer.

Right, so now for the science bit. The Bex is the product of Kawasaki’s humanoid program in collaboration with the University of Tokyo and is being displayed and demonstrated at the International Robot Exhibition. In Japan of course… I mean, where else?

It is Kawasaki’s second attempt at a free(ish) thinking machine, following on from the Kaleido [below], a more humanoid yet absolutely terrifying looking creation that could pass as a seriously jacked member of the Robot Wars ‘house’ team.

While the prospect of a future featuring the Kaleido keeps us awake at night, Kawasaki has adopted a friendlier form for the Bex, even if it does look a bit like a photocopier with legs and a head. Watching it in action, it’s both as impressive and as weird as you’d expect, Bex lowering and raising, as well as walking (well, waddling) from point to point.

Given Kawasaki knows a thing or two about riding, it’s reassuring to know the Bex has the stability to carry a person in a way you’d imagine your rocking horse coming to life as a kid, albeit in a dystopian form more akin to the killer machines in iRobot.

Incidentally, the Kaleido was designed to assist people trapped in disaster zones, though we're not entirely sure this is the first thing we'd want to see while waiting to be rescued not least because Kawasaki claims its actually smarter than a human being... so it probably also could kill you and make it look like an accident.

As for why Kawasaki has created the Bex isn’t entirely clear beyond it being a boastful example of how technology has advanced so far we don’t need to look to Mother Nature to bear an animal capable of an awkward canter.

Perhaps we’re just luddites that prefer our Kawasaki branding to be prefixed to machines named ZX-10R or H2, but given the manufacturer’s bold aspirations for electric mobility - the first examples of which are set to be revealed in motorcycle form later this year - we do worry a touch that the Bex could end up being a successor for the Versys down the line. 

Still, while the tech is perhaps more impressive than the Design & Technology A-Level final project vibes the Bex is giving off, regardless of its whacky form, we’re most upset by the fact Kawasaki didn’t think to deck it out in a green livery. 

I mean, come on, that’s an obvious oversight, no?

* sigh * Where's Asimo when you need him...?