Robot built to explore nuclear plant

A Tokyo company has developed a small, highly mobile robot that will be sent into the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant to take photos inside reactor buildings and measure radiation levels.

Topy Industries Ltd. said the "Survey Runner" robot will be used to help with repair work at the plant after checking its performance and other details.

The Survey Runner is expected to be able to maneuver around areas where other robots could not.

It can even go up and down steep, wet stairs - an essential feature because coolant water has been injected into the reactors since the crisis at the plant began and can turn around in a space just 70 centimeters square.

The robot can be controlled remotely or by a long connection cord. It also can adjust the slack of the communication cable automatically while running, a feature that could prevent it from meeting the fate of other robots that have stopped because their control cable somehow got severed.