For months, packbot robots have roamed Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, working in radiation situations often too dangerous for humans. Today we learned a bit about the humanity behind the bots, courtesy of since taken down blog posts of an anonymous robot operator at Fukushima. The blog entries, pointed out to us by Alexis Madrigal, explain the day-to-day life of "robot training exercises, as well actual missions, including surveying damage and contamination in and around the reactors," according to science mag IEEE Spectrum, which posted and translated the entries. Below is an excerpt highlighted from a post dated to April 30th, where the worker recounted being told to keep working even though his radiation alarm had went off (read all the entries here):
The front-line situation is being broadcast on TV, but if you see it in reality on-site, it is even more gruesome...One of my dosimeter's alarms began to go off and would not stop right before we began working. When I asked one of the radiation management personnel who was with us about my dosimeter, he said that I was given one for which the settings had been incorrectly configured. He said, "There is nothing wrong with it, so please continue your work." So, I did!