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Meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi Wake-up Call for Japanese Robotics Makers

TOKYO ~ Two years ago this week explosions and meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Genpatsu in northeastern Japan created this nation’s worst man-disaster. The ability to perform heavy duty repair work in the highly radioactive environs of a damaged nuclear reactor was one of the first obstacles that nuclear engineers faced at Fukushima Daiichi. To outside observers of Japan, the answer seemed simple: send in Japan vaunted robots. But the myth of Japanese robot supremacy was blown to bits by Fukushima Daiichi. Yes, Japan had talking robots, robot children, sexy fembots, robot pets and manufacturing robots, but it hadn’t produced machines mobile, powerful or agile enough to be of any use in a real world disaster scenario. So, the Japanese...

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Car Review: The Mitsubishi Electric Car MiEV

The electric car concept sounds like a dream. It’s supposed to save the world. A documentary was made to cheer it’s value. Gas? who needs it? I drove the Mitsubishi MiEV for a bit less than a week and found that although the car works, the electricity part – the piece of the puzzle to save the energy crisis, the savior? it is its own Achilles Heel.   The electric car is slowly gaining some momentum. I did some research. There’s been press conferences, press drives, and a bit of news here and there. Myself driving this car is supposed to add to it. The idea? Drive it around and report on it. What can it do? Like most lower...

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