Feeds

Toshiba boffins build nuke-proof 'bot

Four-legged unit destined for Fukushima clean-up duties

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Boffins at Japanese electronics giant Toshiba have unveiled a new four-legged robotic invention designed to root around in areas too dangerous for humans, such as Tokyo Electric Power’s stricken Fukushima No.1 nuclear plant.

The 65kg machine stands at just over one metre tall and has capacity for carrying another 20kgs. It’s fitted with a dosimeter to measure exposure to radiation and a camera, so investigators can operate it remotely from a safe distance, Toshiba said.

Its jointed legs are operated by a ‘movement algorithm’ which enables the robot to walk on uneven surfaces, avoid obstacles and even climb stairs, although it can only do so at a sedentary 1km/h.

A second, smaller camera-mounted robot attached by a cable can be released from the mothership by a folding arm, and this wheeled bot is designed to look into nooks and crannies too small for its larger counterpart to enter.

Toshiba said it is still working on the designs with the end goal being to enable the bots to install radiation shields, stop water flow and remove obstacles as part of the decades-long clean up and dismantling project at the plant.

Tepco has until now used caterpillar-like bots such as Quince, but they typically have trouble negotiating obstacles, of which there are presumably many inside Fukushima No 1.

Although still at a relatively early stage in their development, robots are already being put to a range of uses in Japan, from making sushi, to passing Tokyo University’s entrance examinations.

It is in industrial manufacturing, however, where the bots are set to make the biggest impact, with Taiwanese ODM giant Foxconn apparently planning to have one million of the metallic critters on its production lines in China and beyond by 2014. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
STEALTHY NANOROBOTS dress up as viruses, prepare to sneak into YOUR BODY
Cloaking techniques nicked from viruses tackle roadblocks on way to medical frontier
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.