The Straits Times
Published on Nov 21, 2012

Japan's new nuclear-proof robot gets stage fright


YOKOHAMA (REUTERS) - A Japanese robot designed to withstand high levels of radiation and extreme heat at damaged nuclear plants such as Fukushima froze on Wednesday on its first public demonstration.

Despite being home to the largest number of industrial robots in the world, Japan did not have a device capable of entering the damaged Fukushima nuclear facility after last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Instead, Japan brought in robots from the United States to survey the extent of the damage inside the reactor buildings.

Toshiba unveiled Japan's own nuclear-proof robot on Wednesday, a four-legged device able to carry up to 20kg of equipment and capable of lifting itself up if it falls over on uneven surfaces and amid debris.