iRobot in Japan

26 Mar
Japan, long home of bipedal dancing robots, has caved to American robot imports to handle their nuclear issues.  For years, people have criticized Boston-based iRobot’s products as unromantic, dull and unimaginative.  Yet in times of crisis, Honda’s Asimo, Toyota’s Running/Violin-Playing Robot and Sony’s robodog Aibo haven’t shown to be of much utility.  On the other hand, iRobot’s Packbot and Warrior have.

In age where everyone moans about American deindustrialization and pins all hopes of a comeback on a revaluation of the Yuan, Colin Angle and Co at chez iRobot can be seen as a tremendous example for the rest of us.  After all, in a world where you can export robots to Japan, I wouldn’t be surprised if you could export snow to Russia.

It was Japan’s Self Defense Forces that asked iRobot to aid in controlling the situation at Fukushima Dai-1, the nuclear plant left unstable in the wake of last week’s earthquake/tsunami.  iRobot has sent their iRobot 510 Packbot and Warrior 710, until recently most popular for their work in Iraq (and a knockoff of one of their products’ cameo in “the Hurt Locker”) neutralizing bomb threats.

In addition to supplying them, iRobot will be providing service and training for the robots, a new revenue stream for the company reiterating by CEO Colin Angle in the last few Earnings Calls for the company.

In a fun side note, iRobot’s devices are plug and play which means that that can be remote controlled by Xbox and Playstation controllers.  Halo anybody?

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Posted by on March 26, 2011 in Uncategorized


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