PHOTOS: Real-Life 'Wall-E' Robots Have A Very Important Job To Do


10/06/2016 4:48 AM AEST | Updated 10/06/2016 4:48 AM AEST

Robots are helping to keep the lights on in China's Anhui province. 

New images from Getty show cute robots inspecting power lines, transistors and other equipment at a power station in the city of Chuzhou, in eastern China. The robots look remarkably like Disney's lovable "Wall-E." Don't let that fool you, though. The machines are hard at work.

Humans tell the robots what to keep an eye on, but the inspector bots do their job on their own. They can rove around the site by themselves, collecting data for their human masters. They even charge themselves.

The robots gather information using two mechanical "eyes." One takes photos, while the other uses infrared sensors to produce thermal images of power lines and transistors. Together, the two eyes produce in humans the irresistible urge to hug a lifeless hunk of metal and plastic.

This week, over 9 million of the country's high school students take the national college entrance exam, the Gaokao. The Chuzhou power company is relying on its inspector bots to keep the lights on throughout the exam period, according to Getty. The Chinese government has called on the entire country to make sure everything runs smoothly during the grueling, and sometimes fate-deciding, test.

The robot inspectors don't seem to be feeling the pressure, though. Here they are, adorable and inspecting away:

  • VCG/Getty Images
    Two robots inspect equipment at a power substation in Chuzhou, China. 
  • VCG/Getty Images
    A worker walks with two inspector robots at the station in Chuzhou. The robots can surveil the station's equipment around the clock, replacing the need for 24-hour inspections by humans.
  • VCG/Getty Images
    The robots have two "eyes" that can take photos and generate thermal images of the facility. 
  • VCG/Getty Images
    At the Chuzhou facility, worker bots rove around on their own, sending data back to their human masters. The robots can even charge themselves. 
  • VCG via Getty Images
    This robot's two "eyes" make it irresistibly cute. You almost want to hug the little guy. 
  • VCG via Getty Images
    Workers at the Chuzhou power station are using robots to keep the lights on in the region as high school students sit for China's national college entrance exam.