News roundup: Robots explore Fukishima reactor

So, what do you do if you want to go somewhere that no person has been before because it’s a place where humans can’t go, say the Fukishima nuclear reactor?

You send a robot of course.

While killer and sex robots are dominating the headlines, there are other robots that serve more practical and useful purposes. One of those is exploring. They aren’t exploring space or the bottom of the ocean yet, but they’re going somewhere that’s pretty hazardous for human beings: A nuclear reactor that’s experience meltdown.

Here’s your news roundup for today:

  1. Exploring Fukishima: A small robot has gone into the contaminated heart of the ruined Fukushima nuclear plant. There, it beamed back video of a gaping hole at the bottom of the reactor and, on the floor beneath it, clumps of what looked like solidified lava: the first images ever taken of the plant’s melted uranium fuel.
  2. Fighting Parkinson’s: U.K.-based AstraZeneca has announced that it is teaming up with U.S. biology and technology company Berg to search for new drugs to treat Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders, using AI.
  3. A helping hand: US Navy P-8 Poseidon patrol planes have joined an international search for the Argentine Armada submarine San Juan, and the Navy has prepared submarine rescue vehicles and four uncrewed underwater vehicles (robots) to assist in the search as well.
  4. Boozy business: Dutch brewer Heineken is hoping to increase its sales numbers with data-driven improvements and AI augmentation to its operations, marketing, advertising and customer experience.
  5. A friend for the lonely: The diminutive humanoid robot Boo Boo exists to make people feel better. Whether it be sick children or elderly people coping with loss, the robot only seeks to make them feel better.

That’s it for robot/AI day.

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