The Fukushima Nuclear plant in Japan has been somewhat of a disaster ever since the earthquakes hit the country. The entire facility is highly radioactive, and human intervention could be dangerous in some places. Toshiba has developed a special four-legged robot to do the job.
Given the sensitive nature of the facility and the fact that it has been leaking radiations, it is only natural that the Tokyo Electric Power Company has been seeking automated alternatives.
The four-legged robot that Toshiba has announced seems a viable alternative for these kind of operations. The robot is different from the regular crawling or wheeled robots in that it can easily walk across uneven surfaces and can even climb stairs. This gives it a significant advantage over conventional robots and provides it a greater freedom of movement.
Moreover, it can be manually controlled by a human. A small, additional vehicle can also be attached to the robot. The robot itself comes equipped with a camera and a dosemeter. It can be sent into an area which is not accessible by human personnel and can be remotely monitored by a human.
Toshiba plans to continue development on the robot and eventually make it capable of installing shields as well as performing different kind of tasks within the nuclear plant facility.