By the end of the decade, the people who disarm bombs and search for survivors after a disaster may no longer need to put their lives on the line — a machine, possibly made in Japan, will do the dangerous stuff.

That is one goal of the Japanese government’s $37.7 million Humanoid Robotics Project (HRP), which aims to market within a few years robots that can operate power shovels, assist construction workers and care for the elderly.

In the process, a new multi-billion-dollar Japanese industry could be born.