Robots and artificial intelligence at large are getting better every year. While we're probably still a few decades away from truly human-like AI, the tech has advanced enough that it's being used across a wide variety of professions - including a few fields you wouldn't expect, such as the practice of medicine and psychology.
However, it seems Japan wants to push us even closer to a world where robots replace humans in many jobs. The country's Advanced Industrial Science and Technology Institute has reportedly created a robot, dubbed HRP-5P, that can install drywall, as well as perform other tasks typically associated with contracting.
Skilled manual laborers are always in demand, but Japan, in particular, may struggle to meet that demand in the future.
As TechCrunch points out, skilled contractors start to slow down as they age, eventually leaving the workforce through retirement or illness. Japan's birth rate is also one of the lowest out there, meaning new manual workers are in short supply.
If robots like HRP-5P become the norm, Japan could solve this problem. Of course, for the time being, HRP-5P is quite slow, and while it gets the job done, the technology powering it will need to mature quite a bit before it becomes a viable alternative to human labor.