Robotics

Imagine a world where you are driven to work by a driverless car, your morning news is written by a computer, and your lunch is prepared by a robot. In such a world, it would not be a stretch to wonder if humans were about to become obsolete. We’ve already seen this scenario play out in movies and popular novels.  But according to today’s guest, there are reasons to worry about how new technologies are reshaping the real world right now.

Northwest Nazarene University

There may soon come a day where the vineyards in Canyon County are tended to by a robot.

Northwest Nazarene University engineering professor Josh Griffin is helping to lead a team of researchers and students building a prototype. They received an $81,000 grant from the Idaho Department of Agriculture to create the aptly named “IdaBot.”

At the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington, the race is on to clean up radioactive sludge buried in aging underground tanks. Some of that waste has already leaked into the soil not far from the Columbia River.

Attempts to use high-tech robotics to hose out waste tanks haven't gone as planned. And an important federal cleanup deadline is fast approaching. Anna King has visited one of the Hanford tank farms several times to see what’s causing the delays. She shares this first person account.