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American robots in Japan highlight nuclear safety myth

July 4, 2011

Japan’s nuclear power authority didn’t have any emergency robots ready to assist with damage and control. Why were they caught unprepared?
The ‘safety myth’: From the NY Times: “It’s a fact that there was an unreasonable overconfidence in the technology of Japan’s nuclear power generation.”
The seniority system: Both iRobot and QinetiQ, companies that volunteered equipment to Tepco, found that senior Tepco employees were chosen to be trained to operate the robots yet they were less suited to the task than the 20-year olds who had gamer experience.

Frank Tobe
guest author
Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series.

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