Fifteen employees of the imaging giant were injured in buildings at Utsunomiya (Tochigi Prefecture), and an array of buildings spread across northern Japan were damaged. Those affected plants and facilities manufactured critical parts and components for a wide range of Canon products. In response, the company safely lowered its earnings forecast to reflect the impact of the disaster on its supply chain after suspending operations at several locations for nearly a month.
Ever notice how some caterpillars can recoil violently when bothered? Researchers at Tufts University are intrigued by this behavior, and have built a lightning-fast robot that replicates it.
GoQBot, described in a study in the journal Bioinspiraton & Biomimetics, emulates the "ballistic rolling" escape tactic employed by some Crambidae caterpillars. The bugs curl into a wheel when threatened and leap to safety.
The recoil happens within 100 milliseconds, which the Tufts researchers led by Huai-Ti Lin, describe as "one of the fastest self-propelled wheeling behaviors in nature."
Exactly how the caterpillars achieve this is a bit … Read more
TOKYO--An international team of robotics and engineering specialists used remotely operated underwater vehicles to search for human remains in coastal areas of Japan flattened by last month's tsunami but failed to find any of the missing, the group said Sunday.
The International Rescue System Institute, working with the Texas-based Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASAR), searched the waters off the annihilated communities of Minamisanriku, Miyagi Prefecture, and Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture.
A magnitude 9.0 quake and aftershocks bring devastation to Japan, send tsunamis racing across the Pacific, and pose a grave danger to several nuclear power plants.
Machines clear rubble as Japan ranks crisis with Chernobyl A month after the historic quake in Japan, robots and remote-controlled vehicles are getting to work at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. (Posted in Crave by Tim Hornyak) April 11, 2011 8:20 PM PT
T-Hawk MAV, helicopter drones join Japan effort The robot response to the Fukushima crisis becomes increasingly multinational as France and the U.S. send more machines to Japan. (Posted … Read more
PlayStation users worldwide have raised nearly $1.32 million so far to aid relief efforts in Japan, Sony said today.
Tokyo-based Sony raised the money through sales of custom PlayStation 3 themes in its PlayStation Store through the end of March. The fundraiser started March 19 in North America and Europe, and March 24 in Japan and Asia. All told, 40 countries are participating in the effort.
"We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to those affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake," Kazuo Hirai, Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, said in a statement. "While … Read more
Six workers were exposed to excessive radiation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Saturday as a mile-long power line was connected to Reactor No. 2 in an effort to restore power to its cooling system. Crews hope to restart the system Sunday, The New York Times reported, but meanwhile observers have been speculating how many robots authorities have deployed to keep people out of harm's way.
The answer, apparently, is zero.
"I don't know that we have any such devices," said Hiro Hasegawa, a spokesman for plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), when asked whether robots were being used at Daiichi, which was struck by a tsunami following the 9.0-magnitude earthquake March 11.
It's surprising that Japan, long considered a technological powerhouse, has had to resort to such rudimentary methods of cooling the plant's reactors as water-bombing them with lead-lined helicopters.
Tepco apparently never imagined a situation in which the main and backup power to the coastal plant would be knocked out, despite the fact that Japan is one of the most quake-prone countries in the world, sitting atop a number of shifting tectonic plates. … Read more
Much of the world is consumed watching the coverage of the enormous disaster that recently struck Japan. As if a massive earthquake and subsequent major tsunami didn't cause enough death and destruction, they unleashed a cascade of failures that led to serious nuclear power plant accidents that have yet to be contained, and that threaten lives and indeed the inhabitability of an entire area of Japan. It's simply horrific.
We humans think that we're in control of, well, everything. We have plans and lists and goals and policies and fallback positions. Then something like this comes along … Read more
It's been a week since Japan's devastating 9.0-magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami. Amid the disaster cleanup and relief efforts, new problems continue to evolve, such as the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
Anxiety over the damaged facility increased Wednesday as the United States' top nuclear regulator told Congress the situation was worse than reported by the Japanese government and that "extremely high" radiation levels could hamper containment efforts. On Friday, Japan's nuclear safety agency raised the severity of the crisis to level 5, up from 4, on a scale going up to … Read more
The Tokyo Electric Power Co. hopes to reconnect power as early as Saturday to a dangerously overheating nuclear power plant damaged by last week's earthquake and tsunami, Japanese state broadcaster NHK said today.
The power company, also called Tepco, is working to restore power to the six nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power station about 140 miles northeast of Tokyo. A new power supply could help run pumps to cool the reactors and their associated spent-fuel ponds, a challenge that's been growing harder ever since the massive magnitude 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunamis knocked out power … Read more
In every disaster scammers see an opportunity, and the crisis in Japan is no exception. Already there have been fake Red Cross e-mails circulating and there will no doubt be more scams coming.
Those e-mails appear to come from the British Red Cross. They provide some news on the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and urge people to donate to a Yahoo e-mail address on a Moneybookers account, a money transfer service that enables recipients to remain anonymous, according to App River, an e-mail hosting and security services provider.
However, real charities have e-mail addresses with their own domain and … Read more