Japan's Mitsubishi creates 'robot' to 'fix' crippled Fukushima nuke plant
Japanese firm Mitsubishi has created a radiation-resistant robot aimed at cleaning up the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, which was damaged during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Many firms like Hitachi and Toshiba, have also rolled out their own remote-controlled bots recently.
Robots are already working inside the plant, but they have not been designed to repair a nuclear reactor, the BBC reports.
Dubbed MEISTeR (Maintenance Equipment Integrated System of Telecontrol Robot), Mitsubishi's 'tankbot' is about 1.3m (4ft) tall and has two arms with seven degrees of freedom each, able to hold loads of up to 15kg (33lb).
The robot is equipped with various tools and has electronics hardened to withstand radiation, the report said.
The report quoted Jeremy Pitt, deputy head of the Intelligent Systems and Networks Group at Imperial College London, as saying that it was still a challenge for a remotely controlled machine to successfully replace humans in such harsh conditions.
"Operating in extreme environments requires a remarkable range of human skills that might otherwise be taken for granted," he said.
"Fundamentally, instead of programming a robot to follow a precise series of actions, in open environments the requirement is to programme it to improvise," he added.