Though the earthquake that struck Japan's eastern coast earlier today has left the country with massive destruction and hundreds of deaths, modern technology (and Japan's impressive level of readiness) are helping the country track survivors and dampen the damage as much as possible. In the future, our ability to cope with natural disasters will only increase, due in large part to the particular talent earthquake-vulnerable areas--especially Japan (and to a lesser extent, California)--have for robotics.
Predicting earthquakes is still a remarkably fruitless effort--seismologists are not reliably able to predict even a particular month in which an earthquake will occur, let alone a day. So the work done to mitigate the damage done by earthquakes is often in post-quake search-and-rescue tactics. Interestingly, two of the most earthquake-prone places in the world are also two of the world's hotbeds of robotics engineering. Japan is situated along the so-called Pacific Rim of Fire, at the point where the Pacific and Eurasian tectonic plates collide. The country is continually at risk of massive earthquakes, and as a technological world power, is uniquely capable of creating technological salves for 'quakes.
Click to launch the photo gallery
Hopefully, advances like the ones shown here will be able to somewhat lessen the destruction of earthquakes in the future.
Note: While most of these creations come from Japan, we stumbled across a few from elsewhere that were so cool we couldn't keep them to ourselves. Although, interestingly, those were mostly from another high-tech and high-risk earthquake area--California.
Are they in the testing stage ? Because I know a place where they could a couple of them right about now. Cool idea IMO.
anybody got any update on the status of that nuclear reactor that was running off battery
1st, they used water to cool the reacter by directly injecting it into the reactor core, because the cooling system in Unit 1 has failed completely.
Following that, there was an explosion at the Unit 1 facility that only blew out the outmost walls of the structure (not the reactor containment structure) due to a hydrogen explosion.
This was beleived to have caused because they were wenting the steam/hydrogen into the atmosphere and some mixed with the oxygen either in the water or the oxygen in teh air and caused the explosion.
Minimal radiation has escaped [about 1year's worth (per hour or in total..dont remember) of what a human normally gets in a normal setting] due to venting the steam to cool of the reactor. Also, after the explosion the radiation level actually went down.
A last ditch effort was started to cool the reactor, they are now pouring in seawater and boric acid over the coarse of 10 hours to completely put the reactor out of commission.
Boric acid is used to kill the nuclear reactions.
There has been one mention that a second reactor's cooling system is starting to malfunction. (sciencedaily.com)
There has also been talks with Russia to increase the energy it receives from them. Russia has so far said they are thinking of increasing their natural gas export to japan by 150000 tons as well as several million tons of coal i beleive.
This is all the information I've been able to gather from all the yahoo links, science daily, and here.
What a waste of ink this article is. It says nothing.
it's a compoter, duh, no ink required, go troll elsewhere
Bad timing. Bad taste. This story should be pulled.
What a joke.
When an earthquake strikes the territory is like a waste disposal facility where they dump garbage so they would need a device similar to a huge spider with 8 legs to walk over the junk to get to anyone.
They should be testing their robots in realistic scenarios not on flat airports which is clearly the case in the picture!
Again, what a joke!
The perfect device would look similar to the long legged Martian invaders in the newer movie version of the "The War of the world's" in which Tom Cruise ran like heck to escape!