Monday, March 28, 2011

Not Ready for Uranium Mining on Mars

Given that the Japanese have built robots that do this:

why, one might wonder, do they have humans standing in radioactive water at Fukushima Daiichi? Turns out, according to this article, there a few problems with using a robot at a damaged nuclear power plant.

  1. It's hard to communicate with them through thick reinforced concrete.
  2. They have trouble negotiating complicated terrain and avoiding obstacles.
  3. Their brains get fried easily by radiation.
One would naively think that people would be building robots to do things that people can't do, rather than things that people can do better. But at one time people naively thought that television would be a great tool for educating people.

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