Japan is famous for creating some of the most advanced rescue robots available, so we've been wondering why they haven't been more visible during the still unfolding crippling disasters. Now there's word that technicians at the Fukushima nuclear plant have sent in Monirobo, a cute little robot designed for just this purpose.
Monirobo has tank treads instead of wheels, so it can scoot over piles of debris to get to the center of the action. Once there, it can measure radiation levels, temperature and humidity, and sends 3D video back to its operator. One problem is that the maximum operator distance is about 3/4 of a mile, a whole lot less than the 50 mile distance the US government is recommending.
Still, it's got to be a lot better than crawling around inside that thing yourself.