Japan's new nuclear-proof robot gets stage fright

YOKOHAMA, Japan Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:50pm IST

1 of 2. Photographers take photos of Toshiba Corp's new four-legged robot which the company says is capable of carrying out investigative and recovery work at tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant during a demonstration at the company's Yokohama complex in Yokohama, south of Tokyo November 21, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Yuriko Nakao

Related Topics

Stocks

   

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) - A Japanese robot designed to withstand high levels of radiation and extreme heat at damaged nuclear plants such as Fukushima froze on Wednesday on its first public demonstration.

Despite being home to the largest number of industrial robots in the world, Japan did not have a device capable of entering the damaged Fukushima nuclear facility after last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Instead, Japan brought in U.S. robots to survey the extent of the damage inside the reactor buildings.

Toshiba Corp (6502.T) unveiled Japan's own nuclear-proof robot on Wednesday, a four-legged device able to carry up to 20 kg of equipment and capable of lifting itself up if it falls over on uneven surfaces and amid debris.

During the demonstration, the robot experienced a case of stage fright. The shuffling Tetrapod locked up and suddenly froze after it tried to balance itself, forcing technicians to carry it away.

It is the second time such Japanese robotic technology has experienced problems. Last October, a crawling robot developed by the Chiba Institute of Technology lost connection with operators and was abandoned inside Fukushima's No. 2 reactor building.

(Reporting by Mari Saito; Editing by Jeremy Laurence and Nick Macfie)

FILED UNDER:
  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Trouble For Uber?

Tech Showcase

Aereo Goes Bankrupt

Aereo Goes Bankrupt

Aereo files for bankruptcy  Full Article 

Cyber Spying

Cyber Spying

U.S. accuses China of cyber spying on American companies  Full Article 

Tech Workers

Tech Workers

Obama's immigration tweaks leave Big Tech wanting more.  Full Article 

Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality

FCC chief says U.S. Internet rules must stand up to lawsuits  Full Article 

New Amazon Service

New Amazon Service

Amazon plans ad-supported video streaming service - NY post  Full Article 

Travel Technology

Travel Technology

Airlines eye tech partners to tap customer data  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage