From bioRobot To (Long Overdue) iRobot In 25 Short Years

Tyler Durden's picture

Three days ago, Zero Hedge asked the question that seems so mindnumbingly logical and obvious, it was perfectly normal that nobody in charge had asked it yet, i.e. "Why isnt Fukushima crawling with iRobots armed with cameras?" Luckily, someone in Japan appears to read our Twitter account: as was just repoted, "The Special Ops group of Japan's Self Defense Forces has asked iRobot for some robotic assistance with the situation at the Fukushima Dai-1 nuclear plant, where several reactors are dangerously unstable after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake followed by a tsunami led to failures of their cooling systems last week. Four robots, including iRobot's Packbot 510 and Warrior 710, left Bedford, Mass., this morning on their way to Japan, along with a team of iRobot employees to provide support, an iRobot spokesperson told me." Um, it took them one week to figure out that there is a public company (probably trading at nosebleed valuations) that does just what everybody has been bitching and moaning can not be done in Fukushima by humans...ONE WEEK!? Anyway, at least the option will now be there. Although as the following video presents, a comparable option was available 25 years ago in Chernobyl. Well, with a few minor differences...


h/t BobDabolina

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snowball777's picture

C' can go look at the RadNet numbers yourself and see that this is patently false.

TruthInSunshine's picture

WTF are you talking about?

I think the whole point is that RadNet, as it's reported by the EPA & Dept of Energy, may just be altering/hiding/misreporting, no?

- I was just informed there was confusion over data reporting station numbers and readings, but that there still are a lot of stations offline.

snowball777's picture

You can go look at my response to your post on the other thread and see that the info for East vs West coast was comparable (RI was actually worse than CA) and that the info was readily available. A small percentage of stations being offline in a voluntarily reported network of contributors doesn't justify conspiracy theories.

If you choose not to believe the info provided, that's one thing, but nothing is being arbitrarily withheld or munged.


Dr. Porkchop's picture

You know it's bad when even the robots commit suicide.


Of course.. when officials assure you that the nuke plant in your area is safe, ask them if they'll be sending in their sons to shovel debris if it goes wrong.

snowball777's picture

They didn't bother to translate Asimov into Japanese?

ArsoN's picture

Watched the whole movie.  Scariest part is how similar the reaction of international government officials is now to then.  "No problem, this will not affect us."  Disgusting.


fuu's picture

Sounds like they have gotten cooling going at #5 and #6.

halvord's picture

These reactors were built for the concept of reactor-crawling robots was fashionable. Those robots need wheelchair ramps as well as stairs, special door handles that the robot hands can easily open, charging plugs, etc.


luk427's picture

The information on Zero Hedge is second to none. I am always blown away by the topics and depth to wich it is reported. Who needs any other source of mainstreet media after discovering this website. Glad to have it in my favorites. I do feel sorry for the Japenese, they had everything figured out as far as earthquakes go(to the best of their abilities) , but to add a  tsunami of this magnitude to the mix is against the odds. Hindsight in any accident is always 20/20. Hopefully the world will learn from this tragic event and use it for the betterment of the planet. For now I will continue to accumulate physical silver and Gold because the  force that I fear more than mother nature is the corruption of the federal reserve and the Wall St. banksters.

Daphneisfedup's picture

Removed -Still new at this - wanted to reply to a specific comment

AAPL_Short's picture

Here is Oppenheimer himself, the überengineer, recalling how he was reciting the Hindu Bhagavad Gita when he realized that his atom bomb had worked.

Extremely moving stuff:


“If the radiance of a thousand suns /
were to burst into the sky /
that would be like /
the splendor of the Mighty One
and I now am become Death,
the destroyer of worlds.”

Oligarchs Gone Wild's picture

Why the Japanese Robots called US based IRBT for backup:

prophet's picture

Seems like a week is about right.  From BBC "live feed":


0829: The US Defense Department is preparing to dispatch an expert team trained to operate in areas contaminated with radiation, should the situation deteriorate at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, Yomiuri reports.
Spigot's picture

Beta Emitters (potential triggers for gamma survey):


Also, most of the Gamma emitters also emit Beta rays -

Gamma emitters such as:
iodine-129 131
radium 88
thorium 90
uranium 92

The aerosol particals reaching the Western US are micro to nano sized particals which easy will be breathed into the lungs, which will first concentrate most of the damage there. Also, soil contamination in California will be cumulative, and I question agricultural produce being safe if the aerosol is not stopped in Japan. Japan is toast, the US is also going to pay a price here.

Kids need to be protected as much as possible. Use Betadine 1 teaspoon on thin skinned areas daily to saturate the thyroids.

This is a very bad deal. Do not presume that the MSM will do much more than obfuscate the reality.

gordengeko's picture

you do realize that a lot of the food you eat is irradiated right?

 I'd be just a lil bit more concerned with the kids using cell phones than spoon feeding them betadine to protect their thyroid from something that will do much less harm to them than say living next to a power grid, cell phone tower or giant friggin anything that emmits electromagnetic radiation.  just saying

Spigot's picture

Not disputing the threat of electromagnetic radiation, however this is ionizing radiation. The physics are different. Ionizing radiation will kill you alot faster and surer than electromagnetic radiation. I was providing information as to WHY the radiation detectors are detecting beta/gamma rays, which are from decaying isotopes which now are arriving in CONUS. In order words we have nuclear fallout material arriving (as vapor, nano and micro sized particulate matter), some of which has half lives of from 100 to 25,000 years, in other words, a continuing and cumulative threat to health, particularly for the young.

Spigot's picture

And BTW you do not ingest betadine, you use it topicaly (paint it on the skin).

Gromit's picture

My God what brave men.

Spigot's picture

They will all be dead in a few months to years. They are heros who are sarcificing their lives for their people.

Pchelar's picture

In most slavic languages (like Russian), the word "robot" means simply "slave" or "servant".  If I remember correctly it was a Czech fellow who first coined the term with regard to mechanical robots.  Just because we are living human beings does not exclude us from being robots in the fullest sense of the word.  Without detracting anything from the bravery and sacrifice of those working in the futile effort to contain the reactors, they are robots of TEPCO.  In a way we are all robots of the industrial economy.

Dan Watie's picture

Robots have no reasoning ability and have no heart. They care not to be slaves. What is our excuse? How we openly embrace being slaves! So yes, we are robots. But we have the potential to be so much more. There lies our underlying dissatisfaction. If you are awake you cannot be happy with all the gold in the world if you secretly know someone in the world is suffering. We are all connected. But not in the way the shithead globalists want us to believe. Its about heart, not money.

Pseudo Anonym's picture

it was a Czech fellow who first coined the term

the name of the czech fellow was Karel Capek:

johnQpublic's picture

domo arigato mr. roboto....

sagelike's picture

I guess that's because you're more intelligent that just about everyone else Tyler.

We're confident that had you been on the scene frantically trying to save your ass, save Japan and prevent a nuclear meltdown just hours and days after a massive earthquake and devastating tsunami, and with nothing but adrenaline running through your system on hours if not minutes of sleep, you would have have been clear-headed enough to call in the iRobots within hours after the disaster.

Fix It Again Timmy's picture

I'm surprised that a couple of workers haven't been suited up as astronauts doing a spacewalk so they could get a better look at things...

Marc45's picture

I have one of those iRobots.  It's called a Roomba.  It chokes on my dog's fur pretty easily but maybe it works better on radioactive debris.

Odd Ball's picture

iRobot's tracked military robots are tough, lightweight, relatively small, and highly agile.  They climb stairs and more importantly traverse rubble quite effectively.  Some payloads offer manipulation capabilities.  They are also battle-tested, having been deployed by the thousands in Iraq and Afghanistan for counter IED work for many years.  Their Achiles heel in this operation is a lack of radiation hardening.  The best bet would be to deploy the robots directly to the are where they are seeking imagery and sensor readings.  If the mission is to peer into the cooling pools they could potentially deploy from a helicopter, crane, fire ladder, or a steel cable trolley strung from one of the tall towers directly to the upper floor of the reactor building where the pool is located.  Getting the imagery as quickly as possible is important since it's unclear how long the electronics will survive the high radiation environment.  Improvising lead shielding around the electronics areas should be attempted...

Other companies manufacture specialized nuclear accident robots that are radiation hardened.  They are basically formed from thick billets of tungston.  The downside of these large rad-hard systems is their larger size, heavier weight, and relative scarcity.

Abitdodgie's picture

They have spy satellites that can see what brand of cigarettes you smoke , they know whats going on

Odd Ball's picture

The Japanese are going to need some serious equipment to deal with this mess.  I'm guessing a huge crane might come in handy.  They could improvise those large towers sitting right next the reactor buildings into cranes with a few long steel cables.  Of, if they prefer, float in a piece of equipment that makes a warship look like a childs toy - you know, the one that raised the sunk south Korean destroyer.  (Attempting to post photo.)


rapier's picture

I've worked in containment in a Mark I and they are a crowded mess of piping that is extremly difficult to move about in, before explosions.  The top level floor, is far more open, or would be before explosions, when things like overhead cranes may be laying about.

Certainly various kinds of robots and small remote copters can and will be used to assay the situation.