Enter iRobot.

These remote-controlled Packbots, once used by the U.S. Army to defuse bombs, were sent into the high radiation environment of Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Packing video cameras, they made their way into the facility on Sunday so they could transmit live images of the building's interior, reactor and temperature gauges back out to TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power), which is assessing the situation.

And that's not all. Reports are in that mechanized excavators and transporters are clearing the plant's exterior, and a remote-piloted helicopter is surveying the area. If successful, more robots will be deployed to other reactor buildings.

[via Engadget, source IDG]