There are plenty of ways to spend £154,000, such as paying a top Premiership footballer for a week, picking up a flashy sports car or even securing 362 PlayStation 3 consoles plus a few games, but Japan's science institute has used the cash to develop a humanoid robot that will one day steal all our jobs.

The HRP-3 Promet Mk-II robot cost ¥38 million to create - a cost shared by Kawada Industries , Kawasaki Heavy Industries and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology . For that outlay, the collaborators have built a 1.6m-tall, 68kg bipedal 'bot that can operate in some pretty harsh conditions.

Go-anywhere 'bot

HRP-3, or Maa-kun as his creators refer to him for some reason, is intended to work either autonomously or under remote control in dangerous areas, such as in the presence of extreme heat, radiation or - more likely - after natural disasters.

With five cameras for vision, laser sensors, total waterproofing and the abilities to balance and walk on slippery surfaces and to use tools, HRP-3 looks a good bet to realise the team's goal of creating a robot that will one day be able to work alongside - or instead of - humans.