Skip to comments.Robots designed to deal with nuclear accidents await duty ... Japan asks: Where are ours?
Posted on 03/29/2011 8:32:12 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
Robots designed to deal with nuclear accidents await duty in Europe while Japan asks: Where are ours?
By Brian Vastag, Sunday, March 27, 8:09 PM
Inside a nondescript warehouse south of Mannheim, Germany, a dozen robots, ranging in size from a low-slung inspection bot no bigger than a toy wagon to a 22-ton Caterpillar excavator, stand ready to respond to a nuclear emergency. With their electronics hardened to withstand radiation, the versatile machines can handle fuel rods as well as monitor doses that would kill a human engineer.
A similar robotic quick-response squad is housed near the Chinon nuclear power plant in France.
But in Japan, where the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis drags into its third week, the question is: Where are the robots?
The answer is disquieting, say Japans top roboticists. Instead of building robots that go where humans never could, this country renowned for its robotics expertise invested in machines that do things that humans can already do like talk, dance, play the violin and preside over weddings.
The government believed this accident wouldnt happen, said Hirose Shigeo, a robotics researcher at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Most of the robot experts are concentrating on humanoid [robots] and home use.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
If Japan wants robots, how about liberal zombie sheep?
There are certainly lots of ‘em.
They are not capable of repairing damaged reactors. You know that they are good for nothing.
Maybe the Japanese should buy or at least rent the German ones. Stupid.
The word 'instead' is the problem in that statement, in my opinion. I am more than a little bit surprised and disappointed to learn that people as smart and talented as Japanese robotics researchers/designers appear to ONLY have been working on the 'toy' side of the equation, while ignoring seriously utilitarian uses for robots such as clean-up of toxic/radiation accidents.
“Maybe the Japanese should buy or at least rent the German ones. Stupid.”
For the Japanese it’s better to let a nuclear reactor go critical, pollute the environment, and kill people than be forced to lose face over having to borrow, rent or buy robotic technology that could stop the problem.
The reasons why Japan hasn’t developed robotic technology to deal with this situation is because they didn’t think this situation would happen and most of their development has been geared toward getting ready for the Baby Boomers to retire since there aren’t enough Japanese to take care of the elderly. Plus, you don’t have to pay a robot to take care of the elderly.
Probably buy. After the robots have been used for their purpose, they will have to remain on site. They'd have taken too much radiation to extract and reuse without causing serious harm to the people who service and maintain them.
Probably better to buy the design and build their own. Shouldn't take all that long.
I know. Sad. They want the Asimo (Honda) robot to help old people or the automaton female for men. It is a real shame.
On the other hand, they didn’t have to INVENT the things, all they had to do was BUY some from whoever DID build them already.