Automatic marvels

JAPANESE robots are getting better and better. Among the many showpiece robots is the one recently released by the NEC. It is a snake-like robot which can worm its way into tight spaces, such as collapsed buildings or nuclear power stations where more conventionally designed robots have not much use. Another futuristic project is an industry-wide research project into micromachines led by the ministry of international trade and industry. Micromachines are highly miniaturised robots which could herald a technological olution as they can be used in areas, from nuclear power medicine. For instance, they can inserted into human arteries to out micro-surgery in remote areas body, or they could be sent machines to carry out repair of nance work without having to the entire structure.

Micromachines may be some off in the future, but lower-tech robots are being used in a variety of ways larger hospitals for delivering meals an medication, in factory style sush rest rants where robot sushi chefs pat the balls of rice into a proper shape.