UK built robots being used in Japan

#1
BBC News - Japan nuclear crisis 'over in nine months'

But the BBC's Roland Buerk in Tokyo says it is still not certain that the nine-month deadline can be achieved.

He says the immediate priority for Tepco is to stop radioactive water leaking into the Pacific Ocean.

The utility said it was sending remote-controlled robots into one of the reactors on Sunday to gauge radiation and temperature levels.

UK defence contractor QinetiQ said it had provided the machines, which are controlled using a standard games console.

The robots can carry out tasks such as rubble clearance, demolition and radiation testing.

Japan is a world leader in such technology, but its robots are not adapted for dirty work such as meltdowns at nuclear plants, experts say.
Nice to know we are still able to build something now and then!
 
#2
We're actually still very good at cutting-edge engineering, just not on a large enough scale for mass-employment as in days of yore.

Where we're going to stand in the future is anyone's guess. Lots of countries are ramping up their R&D expenditure as a spur for future economic growth to drive recovery while ours seems to be stalling. Government and private sector R&D both aren't keeping pace with inflation let alone providing the means for the sorts of investment needed to keep up.

One thing I'd love to see is the shifting of capital taxation off of fixed assets like laboratories and workshops. What a spur that would be, not just to innovation from within but to investment from and collaboration with leading international research organisations. We're a small country in the grand scale, yet still larger than many high-tech heavy-hitters like Taiwan. Why can't we play to our strengths instead of trying to bolster a losing position?
 
#3
Possibly these robots are from BNFL. Throughout the crisis, I have been amazed at the lack of robot use - after all Japan is often considered the world leaders in robotics. I know ionizing radiation kills semiconductors, but semiconductors can be radiation hardened bu using different substrates. Blah blah...

Here's a wikipedia page if you're interested: Radiation hardening - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Shakes head: There was no wikipedia when I was a student. Ho hum.

One thing I'd love to see is the shifting of capital taxation off of fixed assets like laboratories and workshops. What a spur that would be, not just to innovation from within but to investment from and collaboration with leading international research organisations. We're a small country in the grand scale, yet still larger than many high-tech heavy-hitters like Taiwan. Why can't we play to our strengths instead of trying to bolster a losing position?
Because our politicians are idiots? Do you mean to sat companies and other organisations get taxed yearly on laboraty and workshop facilities? FFS!

More of my thoughts here: The collapse of UK manufacturing - Page 7 - PPRuNe Forums
 

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