As the crisis in Japan continues, help from all over the world is pouring in – whether it be in terms of funds or military help. But amongst the people around the world helping Japan, robots will soon be pitching in too. iRobot is sending four robots into Japan that are shipping out of Bedford, Massachusetts today. iRobot was asked by the Japan Ground Self Defense Forces – Special Ops group, to help, and a team of iRobot employees will be flying to Japan this weekend to support the robots in the field. The iRobot soldiers, AKA PackBots and Warrior robots and the iRobot crew plans on training the Japan Ground Self Defense Forces on how to operate the robots from a protected vehicle.
The robots might actually be useful in many ways. The Packbot’s HazMat payload can determine how dangerous the radiation levels are in the area surrounding the nuclear plant. Where as the iRobot Warrior could be used as a “firefighter,” by pulling hoses into “hot zones,” allowing cold water to be delivered to where it is needed inside the nuclear reactors. This is actually one of the applications iRobot developed the robots for.
Update:iRobot has let us know that they do not know for sure yet if, upon arrival, their robots will actually be used in Japan or not. But as far as they are concerned, they’re ready to get their robots out on the field to work.
Images below of the robots being prepped for Japan.