Heroic tech: Ten awe-inspiring bits of kit

Heroic tech: Ten awe-inspiring bits of kit

Summary: ZDNet UK tips a hat to the tech that flies across interstellar distances, withstands subsea pressures and makes the internet work

TOPICS: After Hours

 |  Image 10 of 10

  • Thumbnail 1
  • Thumbnail 2
  • Thumbnail 3
  • Thumbnail 4
  • Thumbnail 5
  • Thumbnail 6
  • Thumbnail 7
  • Thumbnail 8
  • Thumbnail 9
  • Thumbnail 10
  • Nuclear snake-arm robot

    Nuclear snake-arm robot
    'Snake-arm robot' is a generic term for a flexible manipulator — the type pictured is actually known as an 'elephant's trunk' robot, built by Clemson University's Mechatronics Department.

    These machines are widely used in the nuclear industry, allowing inspection, repair and decommissioning to happen in these dangerous environments with minimal risk to human beings. OC Robotics' products are a good example of how they're used. For instance, in 2004 the company supplied five snake-arm robots that were used to complete an urgent pipe replacement in an extremely awkward area beneath one of the reactors in Sweden's Ringhals nuclear power plant. Good work, snake-arm robots.

    Photo credit: Clemson University, Mechatronics Department

  • The Thames Barrier

    The Thames Barrier
    These movable flood barriers may resemble a row of floating, partly disassembled chrome toasters, but the 10 steel gates, each weighing 3,300 tonnes, save London from disaster during exceptionally high tides or storm surges. The 520m flood defence spans the river near Woolwich. The barrier, built in 1982, was closed four times in the 1980s, 35 times in the '90s and 75 times so far this century. Even taking into account rising sea levels, it's expected to remain keep London flood-free until 2060-2070.

    Photo credit: Andy Roberts/Wikimedia Commons

Topic: After Hours

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories


Log in or register to start the discussion