The culture that is Japan, snow removal edition

Robot Snowplow from Japan Eats Up Snow, Poops Out Bricks.


It has a camera and GPS.  Here is a further report from Japan (remarkable detail at that link):

One protective measure against snow and ice for railroads and roadways is the "slush removal system" that hydraulically transfers collected snow that has been removed from the railroad tracks or roadways and deposits it in a river. Also, there is the "sprinkler snow melting system" that melts snow by sprinkling water on the road surface.

Here is a longer study of geothermal snow melting systems.  Here is a discussion of numerous other Japanese snow treatment and disposal technologies.  Here is a report from Tsuruta:

In town several additional unique ways of dealing with this snow exist. A concrete-contained stream runs under downtown sidewalks, covered by hinged, lightweight metal grates. People who have access to this “river” can shovel their snow into the running water, sending it floating to the nearby Sea of Japan. Around the nicer homes in town (luckily, including mine) pipes spray a constant stream of hot water onto snow, quickly melting it.

Still, the snow can gather, breaking the delicate branches of Japan’s carefully tended trees and plants. The solution: wooden cages and bamboo teepees, odd-looking sights.

The abundance of snow in Japan spawned a bewildering variety of shovels with distinct shapes and purposes. Most are plastic. There are wide shovels for moving large quantities of snow; there are smaller shovels for weaker shovelers; there are shovels with handles and shovels without; there are shovel-sleds designed to allow the user to push a large load of snow a long distance; there are also metal shovels for breaking up hard-packed snow.

The shovels come in a selection of neon colors: green, yellow, purple, orange, and blue – some marketer’s feeble attempt to make snow-shoveling fun. Shovels cost from five to thirty dollars. Most people own at least two different types, selected by need.

I like this from Japan (ultimately) too — Bohemian Rhapsody!


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