US Sending Robots to Japan to Help in Nuclear Crisis

The U.S. government is sending some robotic help to Japan to help regain control of the tsunami-damaged nuclear plant.

A top Energy Department official told a Senate panel Tuesday that a shipment of "radiation hardened robotics" will be sent to Japan to assist in the crisis. A department spokeswoman said a robotic device from the Energy Department’s Idaho National Laboratory is being shipped to Japan along with several radiation-hardened cameras.

Peter Lyons, an acting assistant energy secretary, said Japanese officials were "very, very interested" in learning more about the capabilities of U.S robots. The United States is also sending robot operators who would be used to train Japanese operators, Lyons said.

Robots with electronics built to withstand radiation could presumably work in areas where radiation levels would harm or even kill a person. Workers at the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi plant have been exposed to high levels of radiation and burned.

Read the rest of the story: US sending robots to Japan to help nuclear plant.

PIC: iRobot’s PACKBOT: Each of iRobot’s 10.9-kilogram Packbots is equipped with a three-link arm that can lift up to about 13.6 kilograms, move debris and potentially relocate hazardous materials. In addition to being able to negotiate stairs, the Packbot can travel at up to 9.3 kilometers per hour and climb grades as steep as 60 degrees.

For an assessment of the Nuclear Crisis affecting Japan and the radiation levels measured go to

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