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Japan to deploy 1,000 pollen-detecting robots

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A Weathernews Inc. employee displays pollen detection robots called Pollen Robo in Mihama Ward, Chiba, on Tuesday. The Yomiuri Shimbun

Japan to deploy 1,000 pollen-detecting robots

CHIBA, Japan (The Japan News/ANN) - Weather forecasting company Weathernews Inc. is preparing to ship 1,000 pollen-detecting robots across the nation.

The firm’s Pollen Robo is a spherical device 15 centimeters in diameter and roughly designed to resemble a human face. The robot measures pollen levels by ingesting air through its “mouth.” Its “eyes” then change color to indicate the amount of pollen present.

The devices will be placed under the eaves of monitoring sites, with collected data used for airborne pollen level forecasts and research on hay fever.

According to Weathernews, which is based in Mihama Ward, Chiba, cedar pollen is predicted to soon begin spreading in parts of the Kanto and Tokai regions, as well as in southern Kyushu. It is expected to reach peak levels in early March.

This year’s airborne pollen level is expected to be about 65 percent of the yearly average.

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