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:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Alibaba IPO

Reuters Showcase

Ellison Quits

Ellison Quits

Oracle's Ellison steps aside, co-CEOs Catz and Hurd take over.  Full Article 

Inside  iPhone 6 Plus

Inside iPhone 6 Plus

Apple's iPhone 6 Plus includes chips from Qualcomm, Skyworks - iFixit  Full Article 

Cutting Jobs

Cutting Jobs

Microsoft lays off 2,100 as part of earlier job cut plan.  Full Article 

Robot Tech

Robot Tech

Qualcomm shows off robot technology, but mum on China dispute.  Full Article 

Deal Talk

Deal Talk

SAP agrees to buy expense software maker Concur for $7.3 bln  Full Article 

Banking on PlayStation

Banking on PlayStation

Sony hopes for PlayStation profit boost as smartphones struggle.  Full Article 

Facebook Name Policy

Facebook Name Policy

San Francisco drag queens meet with Facebook over name policy  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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