Aug 302011

In Fukushima. Not Japanese.

Back in March, ANTHROBOTIC mentioned that a version of American company iRobot’s battle-tested Packbot was the first robot to explore and assess the situation at the failing Fukushima nuclear power plant. To Japan’s implicit embarrassment, there were no Japanese robots available or able to immediately hit the ground running (as covered after the jump, one of the trained Japanese operators wrote an anonymous blog about the whole thing – which has been a gold mine for developers).

So, while Japan continues cranking out the world’s fastest supercomputers and badass semiconductors and tons of industrial automation robots and some of the most advanced social robots in existence (AND building-sized car-parking robots), for either bureaucratic or technical reasons, flexible, multi-use robots that are actually useful in non-industrial life seem to be lacking.

So yeah, Japan, with all these earthquakes and stuff, what’s up with that?


Robots Get Safer, Robots Play Soccer!
Japanese Supercomputer Leapfrogs to Number One – 8 Petaflop/s
Virtual I/Me/We Continued: Three Robots. Three People.
iRobot on Cultural Exchange to Japan
Helping Robot – Hurting Robot