Dressing up robots to dig holes. That's more or less what Honda is doing today in Japan with their humanoid robot series, which not only can do Buster-Keaton slapstick shows but also act as human operators in risky situations. However, the important thing is not the robot itself but how they control it.
Their HPR-1S and HPR-3 are controlled by humans from a distance with the help of an immersive "supercockpit" developed by the University of Tokyo, Matsushita Electric Works and Kawasaki Heavy Industries.
Now, why the digger itself can't be remotely controlled I don't know. Some will say that this is the only way to allow the robots to control any kind of machinery. That sounds logical, but I want to think they just do it because it is cool.
And because the next step is creating those supercockpits for 130-feet bots that can destroy entire cities.
Operation of human type robot? [Impress Robot Watch]