Rainforest robot named “Chico Mendes” (in honor of slain Brazilian environmentalist) helps protect rainforests by patrolling the ecosystem and monitoring it. Why have I not heard of this before? Only thing that made me wonder is the fact that it’s backed by Brazilian energy firm Petrobras. So I dug deeper and found that the robot was actually designed to inspect the gas pipeline for leaks, etc. Well, I guess if it’s doing both things, that’s not bad. After all, a gas leak in the amazon would not be a good thing. Whether a gas pipeline should be running through the Amazon in the first place is an altogether different question
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Eye-opening blog of Fukushima robot operator taken offline
Aug. 23, 2011 (5:29 pm) By: Matthew Humphries
The days of seeing Japan in the news because of the earthquake and subsequent disaster are long over as attention has turned to more recent problems around the globe, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t big challenges remaining in the country. There’s still the case of the Fukushima nuclear power plant and four unstable reactors to deal with.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), which owns the Fukushima plant, is attempting to get things back to normal by using military robots provided by U.S. company iRobot. Due to the lack of communications in the area of the plant, these robots are being operated by individuals who are put in danger every day close by the reactors as they go about their clean-up tasks.
One of those operators decided to write a blog talking about his work, and it has proved very telling and informative about both the conditions at the plant and the robots themselves.
Working conditions are less than perfect. Long hours, ignored warnings, and the link to the robots during crucial clean-up work being put in jeopardy due to stupid decisions are all touched upon. We also get to learn about the limitations and advantages of each robot in this rather unique situation.
NASA’s humanoid robot unveiled on space station: Astronauts at the International Space Station unpacked Robonaut on March 15th, 2½ weeks after its arrival via shuttle Discovery. NASA broadcast the humorous unveiling ceremony Wednesday. American Catherine Coleman and Italian Paolo Nespoli pried off the lid of the robot’s packing box, as though they were opening a coffin. Robonaut - also known as R2 - was spotted a minute later in front of a work station.