Friday, March 18, 2011

"Where are the Robots When You Need Them?"

Like many people in the world, I've been following the story of the Fukushima nuclear power plant that is in varying degrees of meltdown. And living in Tokyo, this is of more than passing interesting to me!

Watching footage of military helicopters flying high and fast while attempting to drop water onto the radiation-emitting sections of the ruined power plant, it looked as though the radiation of the damaged plant is so intense that they can't use the helicopters' ability to hover and drop the water exactly where its needed, but have to resort to flying over the plant high and fast, which then makes it impossible to get the water exactly where it needs to be.

And so, I find myself thinking - if they have drones to fly around and destroy things, can't they use the same technology to fly pilotless helicopters that can hover over the radioactive danger zone and drop water exactly where it's needed? Or is there some legal clause in the use of the devices that stipulates "This technology must only be used for death and destruction - it must not be used to save 30,000,000 residents of a modern mega-city from becoming poisoned members of a radioactive ghetto"?

Yeah - I'm being sarcastic all right - but seriously - can't they fly pilotless helicopters? It may be new technology, but a lot is at stake here.

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

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