For those who live in warm regions of the world where snow is considered as manaa from the heavens, the idea of ploughing snow from the streets might be a fascinating idea. But for those who actually go through it with a shovel, ploughing snow only means two things: back ache and cold hands.
The Japanese are cool in their own way, then don’t just invent practical gadgets, they also make them seriously cool. Yuki-taro is a snowploughing machine built by a team of researchers from Niigata, Japan. The robotic snowploughing machine would be quite popular with the kids even if it doesn’t work properly. Looking like something out of a Pokemon cartoon, the robot has cameras in its eyes and is fitted with GPS. Yuki-taro also works in a quite humorous manner: it eats up the snow and digests them into compact blocks of ice which are then, ahem, ejected from its butt.
Yuki-taro’s butt-products can be reused as an alternative source of cooling or, for those of you who really like it, to make an ice sculptor of it. Yuki-taro won the Good Design Award in 2006 and its creators are still working on making a smaller version of it and hope to make it commercially available in five years at less than $8,300.