So as I've watched the tragic aftermath of the tsunami in Japan, especially in dealing with the nuclear plants, I've wondered, "Where are the robots?"
They have nuclear reactors that are too dangerous for humans to enter or even approach. Isn't this the ideal situation for a robot? After reading PW Singer's book WIRED FOR WAR about how advanced US robots are, I figured the Japanese would have some giant Gundams to go in there and clean up the radioactive mess. Instead, it appears they don't have anything better than Asimo, pictured above. And I don't think Asimo is up for the task.
A scientist friend (thanks Cory) informed me that without special hardening, the high radiation would fry a robot's electronics, effectively killing it. I guess we don't have any radiation-resistant robots, but I bet we are scrambling to build some. At least I hope so.