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Apr. 26, Thu. 23:30 - 0:00 (UTC) etc.

The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: Robots to the Rescue
J-Innovators:Revolutionary Flat Panel Directional Speakers

Our innovator this time is Masashi Hori, the developer of an astonishing, ultra-thin directional loudspeaker. His goal is to deliver sound directly where people need it.

Michelle Yamamoto reports on a flat speaker that is not just amazingly thin, but also able to emit sound with pinpoint accuracy.

Revolutionary Flat Panel Directional Speakers

Speakers just a centimeter thick! Can you believe it? Michelle Yamamoto visits an innovator who produces a revolutionary new speaker. But these speakers aren't just thin, they can direct sound with amazing pinpoint accuracy. What's the secret? Michelle Yamamoto discovers what drove this innovator to develop a speaker that delivers sound exactly where it's needed.

Navigator Rena Yamada and Science Watcher John Gathright

Methane hydrate

Science News Watch:
Test Drilling off the Aichi Coast

Science Watcher John Gathright picks up on news about the world's first test drilling for methane hydrate off the coast of Japan. Methane hydrate is considered a next-generation energy resource. Japan's state-of-the-art drilling vessel, the Chikyu, is now digging a 300 meter deep well on the seabed 1,000 meters below the ocean's surface. The plan is to begin extracting methane by January 2013.

Rescue robot Quince

Footage taken by Quince

The Leading Edge:
The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster - Robots to the Rescue

On this week's episode, we examine Quince, the Japanese rescue robot that was deployed into the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Since a hydrogen explosion at the plant, radiation levels remain high inside. That makes it difficult for workers to continue cleanup efforts for long periods at a time. Quince was deployed three months after the accident. Its goal was to measure radiation levels and check the status of the plant's cooling system. Quince was developed by a Japanese university research team. It was designed to be a highly maneuverable rescue robot. We look at the latest developments in Japanese robotics and consider how current research might be applied in the future.