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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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