Asimo, the cutest durned robot you ever did see, is about to roll its precious sleeves and pitch in on the Fukushima recovery effort.
PhyOrg is reporting about ASIMO's new sense of purpose. Honda created ASIMO 11 years ago as a part of its research into robotics and human mobility. It has evolved a lot since then, and it can now carry stuff, shake hands, and even walk and run on uneven surfaces. Plus, don't you just want to hug it?
ASIMO is going to get his (her? its?) upper-body upgraded to give it greater mobility and dexterity. It's also likely to get fitted with some thick tires or caterpillar tracks so it can manoeuvre its way through rubble and debris. This will make it half-cut/half-scary, but who cares how you look when you've got lives to save? It will then be sent into the Fukushima Daiichi plant, which has been in a state scientifically known as "clusterf**ked" since it was double-whammied by an earthquake and Tsunami on March 11th of this year.
ASIMO won't be the first robot to be sent into Fukushima (there have been several others), but it will be the most lovable. Just resist the urge to squeeze it it when it gets back, as it will probably make you sterile. [PhyOrg]