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:
Photo

After wave of QE, onus shifts to leaders to boost economy

DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.

TECH WRAP

Reuters Showcase

Obama's Message

Obama's Message

In parting shot, Obama prods India on religious freedom.  Full Article 

Armyman Killed

Armyman Killed

Indian army colonel killed in Kashmir fighting.  Full Article 

Uber in Delhi

Uber in Delhi

Uber scraps commissions for its New Delhi taxis.  Full Article 

Company Earnings

Company Earnings

Maruti promises clarity on cash plans.  Full Article 

Japan Hostages

Japan Hostages

Japan vows to work with Jordan to secure hostage release.  Full Article 

RK Laxman Dead

RK Laxman Dead

'Common Man' cartoonist RK Laxman dead at 93  Full Article 

India’s Male Tenor

India’s Male Tenor

India’s lone male tenor wants to ‘Indianise’ opera  Full Article 

Facebook Outage

Facebook Outage

Hacker group claims it is behind outages at Facebook, other sites  Full Article 

U.S. Blizzard

U.S. Blizzard

`Life-threatening' blizzard shuts down much of U.S. Northeast  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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