Two years ago at IROS 2015 in Germany, Honda R&D presented a paper on an experimental new humanoid robot designed for disaster response. This wasn’t entirely surprising, since we’d guessed that Honda had started working on a humanoid designed to be more robust, and practical, than Asimo after the Fukushima disaster.
In the wake of two hurricanes, Puerto Rico’s power grid was blasted back to the stone age. In an effort to return power to the people who need it, Tesla has been shipping Powerwalls over to the island.
LAST FRIDAY, ENGINEERS on Google parent Alphabet’s internet-by-balloon Project Loon tweeted that they hoped to bring emergency connectivity to Puerto Rico after Hurricanes Irma and Maria left more than 90 percent of the island without cellphone coverage.
The last few weeks have been full of natural disasters striking Mexico, islands in the Caribbean, and the United States mainland. Roads are damaged and entire communities have been cut off from help for days at a time, while the potential for infectious diseases to thrive has skyrocketed.