Honda plans nuclear mission for robot

Aug 12, 2011
Japan's Honda is hoping to retool its humanoid robot ASIMO, pictured in April 2011, for a nuclear mission so it can join emergency work inside the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant, a press report said Friday.

Japan's Honda is hoping to retool its humanoid robot ASIMO for a nuclear mission so it can join emergency work inside the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant, a press report said Friday.

The company aims to upgrade the robot's upper body functions so that it can move its arms as smoothly as a human being, with motorised shoulders, elbows and wrists, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported.

The current ASIMO, introduced in 2000 and resembling a small astronaut, stands 130 centimetres (4 feet 3 inches) tall. The bipedal bot can walk or run, carry trays, push carts and shake hands with people.

But to work in the debris-strewn , ASIMO would likely be modified and fitted with tyres or caterpillar tracks, the report said.

No official at Honda's head office was immediately available for comment.

The plant has been leaking radiation from its since its were knocked out by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. At some hotspots radiation is high enough to be lethal to humans.

Robots have already been used inside the plant to take video footage, including the US-made PackBot and Japanese-made Quince crawler robots.

Explore further: Q&A: Drones might help explain how tornadoes form

More information: Update: Corporate Affairs & Communications, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. commented:

"Regarding your recent story about ASIMO, please note that this report is speculation. Although Honda hopes that ASIMO will someday be a helper to people, at this point the robot is solely a research and design project."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Japan mulls new robot help with nuclear disaster

May 03, 2011

Japan may be at the forefront of robotics and its children raised on cartoons of robot heroes and villains, but the country has so far had to rely on US-made machines for help tackling its nuclear crisis.

Japan says plant clean-up will take decades

Jul 09, 2011

Japan's prime minister said on Saturday the decommissioning of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant would take decades, in the first government announcement of a long-term timeframe for the clean-up.

Mickey Welcomes ASIMO To Disneyland's 50th Anniversary

Jun 06, 2005

Mickey Mouse welcomed ASIMO to a new home in the Honda ASIMO Theater, inside Disneyland park. Guests visiting the popular Innoventions attraction at the park can now see ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative ...

Areva to set up treatment system at Japan plant

Apr 19, 2011

French nuclear group Areva said Tuesday it will set up a system to treat radioactive water from a quake-hit Japanese power plant to allow power supplies and cooling systems to be repaired.

Robots to gauge radiation in Japan's quake-hit plant

Apr 18, 2011

The operator of Japan's stricken nuclear plant said Sunday it will send two remote-controlled robots into a reactor building damaged by a hydrogen explosion to gauge radiation and temperature levels.

Recommended for you

Q&A: Drones might help explain how tornadoes form

Dec 18, 2014

Researchers say they have collected promising weather data by flying instrument-laden drones into big Western and Midwestern storms. Now, they want to expand the project in hopes of learning more about how ...

First steps for Hector the robot stick insect

Dec 16, 2014

A research team at Bielefeld University has succeeded in teaching the only robot of its kind in the world how to walk. Its first steps have been recorded in a video. The robot is called Hector, and its construction ...

Getting bot responders into shape

Dec 16, 2014

Sandia National Laboratories is tackling one of the biggest barriers to the use of robots in emergency response: energy efficiency.

Robot 'shadow hand'

Dec 12, 2014

Picking up an apple is one of those jobs requiring the delicate touch of the human hand – or its robotic counterpart.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Bob_Kob
not rated yet Aug 13, 2011
Ha, What did I say when this first happened. Japan has robots galore and yet when the disaster happened they had not one that could help them. I suggested that they should just hook up asimo with some gear and throw him in - looks like they listened!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.