Leave it to Japan: Robotic disaster rescue vehicle

I love the Japanese because the Japanese love robots.

Is this Dick Cheney's "undisclosed location"? Newlaunches.com

I live in an earthquake-prone city. I live in this city in a very old building made out of unreinforced brick. This building is on the back of a steep hill over a freeway and then a lake. Thus, I'm likely to be crushed under tons of rubble and debris if a major earthquake hits Seattle.

If that does happen, it might take rescuers hours--or even days!--to get to me. And when they do, they'll have to get me to safety somehow.

Hopefully by that time they'll be using this amazing Japanese safety robot tank stretcher thing we spotted on Newlaunches.com. Rescuers put an injured person inside and it protects them as they're whisked away to safety. All the while, it constantly monitors their vital signs.

The device has a dual-tread system to get across all kinds of post-catastrophe wreckage and a motor powerful enough to carry a person who weighs up to 240 pounds. It even has infrared cameras so it can operate around the clock. It's a powerful robot.

Not that humans couldn't do the job. It's just that if my apartment collapses on me, I at least want to be rescued by Japanese robots. Is that too much to ask?

About the author

    With more than 15 years experience testing hardware (and being obsessed with it), Crave freelance writer Matt Hickey can tell the good gadgets from the great. He also has a keen eye for future technology trends. Matt has blogged for publications including TechCrunch, CrunchGear, and most recently, Gizmodo. Matt is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CBS Interactive. E-mail Matt.


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