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To Boldly Go Where No Human Ever Should

There has been a nuclear disaster. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is too hot for humans to safely enter. This is a job for robots.

Packbots have been opening doors and assessing damage inside the plant. Japan Packbot RobotPackbot is made by iRobot which makes the Roomba robot vacuum. Many Packbots are defusing roadside bombs in Iraq and Afganistan. They can climb stairs. They carry a remote manipulator arm and a camera and are remotely operated.

Other remotely operated robots are checking radiation levels in the plant. These are called Monirobo (short for Monitoring Robot) and are made in Japan. Six feet long and weighing over half a ton, they are designed to operate where radiation is too high for humans.

There are flying robots there also. There are remotely controlled helicopters carrying cameras. And the US government is flying unmanned drone aircraft over the site to monitor radiation in the air and survey the damage.

Your students can build remotely operated robots to assist in a simulated nuclear disaster, earthquake or to defuse roadside bombs.

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Robert Contaldi