When you hear the word ‘Kawasaki’, you probably picture something… specific. Sleek and fast, electric-snot green, with the word ‘Ninja’ in the title. You’re probably not thinking about Bex the robo-goat, which looks like something you might shoot on a cyberpunk hunting trip. And yet, here we are.
Bex is indeed real. It looks a little like a children’s carnival ride before they spray fur on the thing, and it’s designed to carry cargo. It owes at least a little of its existence to Spot, the robot dog. After all, if Boston Dynamics can achieve success replicating canines, robotic capridae are an obvious next choice.
All Bex are off
Bex, like Spot, is a robotic quadruped. Unlike Spot, it’s got horns, for some reason. It also seems designed for riding, if the hindquarters are any indication. Or maybe Kawasaki just can’t design something in this form factor without adding footpegs.
Bex the robo-goat is based on the Ibex, so it’s not an unfamiliar shape to South Africans. We’re all for releasing a pack of them in the Kruger, just to see the confused predator reactions. But Kawasaki’s robots are far more practical than that. They’re able to carry about 100kg, be it cargo or human beings, and can also scoot around on little wheels. It does this while kneeling, looking for all the world like something you’d put a kid on to distract them on a shopping trip.
At the moment, Bex moves faster on wheels and smooth surfaces than it does on four legs. The odd bouncing gait it has in its reveal video (to techno, for some inexplicable reason) isn’t especially speedy. And it doesn’t have to look like a goat, either. The chassis is modular, so you can make it look FAR more terrifying when it’s inevitably weaponised. Bex the War-Goat would truly be a sight to behold. For now, though, let’s just get the commercial version that’ll inspect factories finished.