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After a week, the best we can come up with is water cannons and rushed water drops by helicopter pilots in fear of their lives?

What about robotics? I mean, we can kill folks in Pakistan by remote control from Kansas. We have these "cool" (sarcastic) Big Dog robots, that could easily carry a fire hose and not worry about milli-sieverts.

Where is all the Nuclear-Biological-Chemical (NBC) warfare gear that we blew all that money on back in the Cold War? We have mini-subs that go to the BP disaster at 5,000 feet; but we don't have a remote controlled fire truck?

Just askin'.

I haven't got much more to say.

We are either faced with a total lack of imagination by the powers that be, or the tacit admission that all that techno-crap was a worthless boondoggle, or the unspeakable truth that we only design tech stuff to kill people and can't adapt it to save people.

Take your pick. Its all pathetic.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Who is this we of which (2+ / 0-)

    you speak? As much as every catastrophe seems to be our's solve it really isn't.

    Be that as it may we have equipment a personnel heading to Japan.  

    In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

    by jsfox on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 08:51:24 PM PDT

    •  The Japanese are "we" too... (0+ / 0-)

      they are huge in robotics. They have humanoid robots that walk and play the piano. They have robotic factories and warehouses that cover acres and have no humans in them.

      Total failure of imagination.

      •  Those humanoid robots.... (2+ / 0-)

        ...can only do that when they're specifically programmed to do so.  The robotic factories can only perform specific, preprogrammed tasks.

        It's all rote.  They can't act independently at all.

      •  You are absolutely right. Why aren't they (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        koNko, sardonyx

        using guys like this to fix the problem?

        Absolute lack of imagination if you ask me.

        Why hasn't Apple got an app out for 'Avoid Nuclear Disaster', or 'Go back in time' yet. Fu%kin slackers.

        'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

        by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 12:03:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Comment of the Day (1+ / 0-)

          Thanks, I really needed a laugh today. Brilliant.

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 08:16:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks koNko. It's really hard to laugh... (0+ / 0-)

            right now, isn't it? But bullshit 'diaries' like this tend to set me off.

            My heart goes out to Japan and the victims of this terrible event. I'm planning a trip to visit my brother and his family soon. Japan is going to need my tourist dollars.

            'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

            by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 03:07:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Go ahead and sneer. (0+ / 0-)

              You got nothing.

              •  LOL... much like your 'diary'... nt (0+ / 0-)

                'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

                by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 12:15:36 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I had three options. You are stuck on one of them. (0+ / 0-)
                  We are either faced with a total lack of imagination by the powers that be, or the tacit admission that all that techno-crap was a worthless boondoggle, or the unspeakable truth that we only design tech stuff to kill people and can't adapt it to save people.

                  So, you piss on "total lack of imagination". What's your take on the other two options.

                  •  See: (0+ / 0-)

                    - remotely operated pump trucks.

                    I really don't know what you're talking about re: techno-crap

                    What specific 'techno-crap' would you design/have designed to deal with this particular situation?

                    Exactly what technological breakthrough are you thinking about?

                    'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

                    by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 06:43:38 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I suggested remotely operated vehicles in the OP.. (0+ / 0-)

                      or did you miss that?

                      We have mini-subs that go to the BP disaster at 5,000 feet; but we don't have a remote controlled fire truck?

                      ROVs are completely conventional tech these days. And yet it took them a week to get one on site. No imagination.

                      Another conventional idea would have been to helicopter in multiple backup generators, instead of taking a week to string a power line. Sikorsky's can carry a very large object. Another lack of imagination.

                      So, my first option (lack of imagination) seems to be the one in play.

                      -----

                      My point in referring to techno crap is more along the lines that it is usually designed to KILL people, not to SAVE them. (My third point.)

                      The only "breakthrough" I'm referring to is remotely-operated machinery, which has been around for fifty years.

                      My point is that the rest of this stuff is either weaponry (Big Dog robot) or baloney (smart, humanoid robots).

                      ----

                      You just want to score points about Terminator-style robots, which is NOT what I was referring to.

                      I have done my best to clarify; but I doubt it will make any difference.

    •  We are not the us ya'll have (0+ / 0-)

      been waiting for, apparently.

      Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

      by billmosby on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 05:53:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dr Stephen Chu sent 30 staff (1+ / 0-)

      And a hole bunch of equipment is already there.

      Problem is this is a situation that requires low tech solutions but more brains on the problem can't hurt.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 08:19:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dr Chu is pro-nuke to the bone (0+ / 0-)

        He is also bought and paid for by BP.

        You got any facts to back up your assertion that "this is a situation that requires low tech solutions"? I seriously doubt it.

        But loudmouths will make pronouncements.

        •  Dude, it really is a 'low tech' situation. (0+ / 0-)

          Are paying attention at all? The situation requires water. Lots of water... and a means of getting it to where it needs to be (in the spent fuel pools).

          And since you posted, the workers have been using precisely what you suggest - remotely operated pump trucks.

          Do you feel silly yet?

          'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

          by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 06:53:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't see how them doing what I suggested... (0+ / 0-)

            makes me look foolish.

            Is that the same as liberals being right about the Iraq War makes them unqualified?

            ------------------

            Right, a radiation dose high enough to kill you in minutes is a real low tech situation. How could I have missed that?

            The technical problem is operating heavy equipment in a high radiation environment. The low tech alternative is asking people to commit suicide for their country. I suggested conventional, proven tech - ROVs, while mocking out robotics as either oversold or weaponry, and somehow you attack me for robotics.

            It seems you just want to score points about autonomous robots, for reasons that remain unclear to me. I think we agree that humanoid robots are still sci-fi. So, why are you attacking this diary? Did the Terminator movies make you paranoid?

  •  Yeah! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    billmosby

    Where's Tom Swift, Jr.? He's have these things encased in Tomasite and Inertite faster than you could say Bud Barclay!

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 09:09:59 PM PDT

  •  Semiconductors (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chimene, koNko

    Don't like radiation. This is why many, many mission critical cold-war type military equipment is built with tubes. Not as prone to failure in case of nuclear blast and/or EMP.

    You got a tube robot somewhere? Cuz we need one bad.

    "'club America salutes you' says the girl on the door/we accept all major lies, we love any kind of fraud"--The Cure, "Club America"

    by Wheever on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 09:42:16 PM PDT

    •  The military uses Silicon-on-Sapphire for rad hard (0+ / 0-)

      they solved that problem decades ago. All the satellites use it because outer space has a lot of radiation.

      Besides, you aren't going to get an EMP unless the place has a nuclear explosion. And if that happens, its game over anyway.

      You didn't score any points here.

      •  True enough, (0+ / 0-)

        but it might still be expensive enough to be used only in specialized equipment not readily applicable to this job. Just a guess on my part, though.

        Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

        by billmosby on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 05:55:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  My point was (0+ / 0-)

        Not that there was going to be an EMP in this situation, but that all the military electronics that might serve in this situation happen to be the kind that were built to survive a nuclear attack, which includes both nuclear blast and EMP survivability.

        Where were you during the cold war? ;-)

        "'club America salutes you' says the girl on the door/we accept all major lies, we love any kind of fraud"--The Cure, "Club America"

        by Wheever on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 08:14:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Total non-sequitur (0+ / 0-)

          I said IF it goes nuke, the rad hard is irrelevant because there will have been a massive release of radiation. Who cares  whether the robot survived?

          If it does NOT go nuke, then rad hard circuitry means all the garbage that remote-controlled vehicles are useless is proven false.

    •  Correct, but that is the least of it. (0+ / 0-)

      ICs are not fond of radiation, partuularly Gamma rays, and to my knowledge, the only company still producing RADHARD (Radiation Hardened) IC packages is, ironically, a Japanese company, Kyocera.

      So today the usual approach is RADHARD enclosures which would require building our mechanial friend from scratch.

      But I think the larger issues are the terrain and environment (including radiation, very high heat and corrosive water), and the question of what do we want Robby Robot to do?

      I know of no drop-in solution built for such a task; even the robots built for space exploration which are probably closest to the robustness needed are pretty purpose built and not as versitile as humans in such a situation.

      "Paging Andy Voight-Kampff: clean-up at Reactor 4"

      Actually, pumping huge amounts of water is a low-tech proposition as is pretty much everthing to do with reators except the physics and materials science.

      I'd ask people to consider the recent case where robots did save the day, the BP oil disaster, a much less severe environment actually, where robots suitable for the task after years of development were available, and then ask how log did it take to perform tasks .

      Days.

      Haven't got that here, time is running out.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 08:06:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I suspect we've deployed most of our high (0+ / 0-)

    technology to arrest and incarcerate dangerous marijuana users in the US.

    Remember "eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.

    (snark alert!)

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 02:18:29 AM PDT

  •  I should have said "drone" or "waldo" not "robot" (0+ / 0-)

    The point is remote CONTROL, not autonomous behavior. With control, a drone can improvise as well as a human - because its an extension of a human.

    The nuclear industry has had remote manipulators since day one. They named them "waldos". So, its not like the industry is unaware of the concept.

    That's why this is all so disappointing.

    So, have fun snarkies. Don't let a serious situation spoil your giggles.

  •  Not ready for prime time. (0+ / 0-)

    Also, it could be that you would need one of those heavy-equipment style giant robots that SkyNet is still working on to carry the loads required.

    Just a guess.

    Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

    by billmosby on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 05:52:59 AM PDT

  •  We're bloggin' on it. (0+ / 0-)

    But seriously, don't you know that all the funding for technological development only goes to projects designed to decimate/obliterate/demolish the human race? The MIC ain't interested in saving anybody.

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