Fukushima workers controlling robots with Xbox controllers

Discover is reporting that workers at the Fukushima nuclear plant are using Xbox 360 controllers to control robots as they continue their dangerous cleanup efforts.

Meet the Talon robots, which were sent to Japan by a Virginia-based tech company called QinetiQ North America. With Xbox pad in hand, Fukushima workers can now remotely drive these robust bots around the plant, where it would be far too dangerous for human workers to go. Without putting themselves in danger, operators can peer into the darkest parts of the plant using Talon’s night-vision cameras. They can also gauge the temperature and air quality around the plant, as well as identify over 7,500 hazardous substances using the robots’ chemical,  biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) detection kits (as long as they’re within the robot’s over-3,000-foot operating range).

Read the whole story here: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/discoblog/2011/04/01/this-is-not-a-game-fukushima-robots-operated-by-xbox-360-controllers/