Not quite accurate, but people have asked why more robots weren’t being used to help shut down the damaged reactors. The company that makes Roombas got a squib in the local news:
BEDFORD (CBS) — The Bedford, Mass. company i-Robot is about to be on the frontlines of Japan‘s nuclear crisis.
Japanese officials asked for help from the company and -iRobot is sending two “Warriors” and two “Packbots.” Together they’re worth about $750,000. Six volunteers will also go over to help train people how to use the robots.
Exactly how the robots will be used hasn’t been determined yet, but company officials say they’re ready for anything. The “Packbot” comes with a hazmat package and can detect chemical, biological and radiological elements.
The “Warrior” is for areas that are tough to get to, like rugged terrain and through rubble, even up stairs.
“One of the main purposes of these robots is to save lives,” said Alex Wong, a software engineer at the company. “Over the last couple of days we’ve heard of humans going into the nuclear reactor area with lots of radiation.”…
Video clip at the link, if you’re curious.
And fanbois all over Japan squee with delight.
@Yutsano: japan hell. The whole staff of maker magazine just came.
This is backwards, Japan is supposed to send the giant robots here. Also, I believe the King of All Cosmos is going to handle cleaning the mess.
I thought radiation toasted electronics. Do these robots carry 6-inch lead shielding?
@jheartney: The radiation levels aren’t quite THAT high, despite the breathless screaming of the Western media. The standard metal casings on the robots should be sufficient for the uses they will undergo.
Plus, the radiation tends to scramble the memory more than toast the electronics, so all they have to do is get the robot back to base and reload the RAM.
Could have sworn “WALL-E” was set in the future. Whoda thunk?
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
This is how the cylons got their start.
seems fitting for Japan. They seem to have a thing for robots
I think it’s cool – if they can use them for cleanup then 750k (est value) seems a small price to pay in the long term for preventing cancer and death.
One of the bright points here – I’ve blocked out most of my Japan news lately because after a while it is just disaster porn, so this is refreshing news.
@Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony: I dig your nick. I hadn’t thought of Sister Machine Gun since I was a teenager until the other day when my bandmate was recording the vocals Sonar
and this is the first time I’ve seen you on the board.
what are the odds they come up twice in as many days after not thinking of them for well over a decade. Heh.
OK, since we share so much in this group, I thought I would tell you what happened while I was out of town and my 3 beagles were being watched by a house sitter.
We got home last night around 11PM after 10 days away. The house/dog sitter apologized, but there was a terrible mess in the corner of the dining room he hadn’t noticed until just before we arrived. There was dog poop smeared everywhere on the floor, and it had hardened into a concrete like mess. I guess it had been there several days and it was a b*tch to clean up. It was hidden behind a lot of boxes and paint because he was doing a bunch of projects for us. All we could speculate was that when he had the dog door closed to stain the deck, one of the dogs snuck back there and took a dump, but the big mystery was why they chose to smear it all over the place (very unlike my dogs) and how they could have done it without him noticing it on them (they were sleeping with him).
This morning, I solved the mystery. My roomba vacuum cleaner (a robot) is on a timer and tries to clean the rooms every day around noon. When I went to clean it out this morning, it was jammed full of dog poo and dirt, about the consistency of playdough, but smelling really bad. I got to spend my morning detailing a poopy vacuum robot. I do feel better knowing that my dogs had not turned into psychotic feces smearing canines in my absence.
In other news, the roomba company is sending robots to Japan to help with the nuclear reactors. I hope they handle uranium better than dog poop.