Japanese firm unveils large robot for disaster rescue work
TOKYO (AFP) Mar 25, 2004
A Japanese company Thursday unveiled a 3.5-metre (11.55-foot) tall robot that can forage its way through a heap of debris as a trailblazer for rescue workers following a disaster such as an earthquake.

The five-tonne T-52 Enryu (literally "rescue dragon") is hydraulically operated and equipped with two arms ending in pincer "hands" that can grasp and remove obstacles to help rescuers reach people trapped under rubble.

Each arm is capable of lifting 500 kilogrammes (1,100 pounds) and when they are fully extended the two pincers are 10 metres (33 feet) apart.

The prototype robot was developed by tmsuk, a company based in the southwestern Japan city of Kita-Kyushu, in cooperation with fire-department officials and university researchers.

The company aims to develop a commercial model by the end of the year.