It has only snowed in San Francisco twice during my lifetime and both times the snow stuck for all of four minutes. Still, I know most of the world gets tackled with heavy snow every year and plowing it can be a real disaster. It seems a geeky helper is about to come to the rescue. While it's not due for release for another five years, the robotic snow plough, aka, Yuki-taro, may look like one of Bob the Builder's friends, but it's a very hi-tech piece of machinery.
By using a GPS system and video camera eyes Yuki-taro is able to find snow, suck it up and compress it into blocks for easy storage, these are then expelled out of the back. As a working concept Yuki-taro won an award in the recent Good Design Contest - having shoveled snow a time or two I know exactly why it was picked!