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[Hidden Wonders of Japan] Survive Allergy Season with Pollen-Detecting Robots

Allergy season can be the bane of hay fever sufferers. But now, they can better defend themselves with Pollen Robo's real-time pollen counts.



Pollen Robos being inspected before shipping in Chonan, Chiba Prefecture. (© Sankei by Kanata Iwasaki)

The dreaded allergy season is about to begin in Japan. But private weather news provider Weathernews Inc., based in Chiba, has come up with a solution to ease our woes. Meet Pollen Robo, a machine that notifies the pollen count by lighting up its LED "eyes."

Pollen Robo is designed to look like a spherical face and is about 15 cm (6 inches) in diameter. First, the robot sucks in air from its "mouth," the same amount of air that an adult would breathe in. Then, it uses its built-in sensors to measure the amount of cedar and cypress pollen in the air. The robot's LED "eyes" light up in different colors depending on the amount of pollen detected. 

Pollen Robos getting ready to help hay fever sufferers. (© Sankei by Kanata Iwasaki)

The company has installed Pollen Robos in more than 1,000 locations around Japan. The collected data is automatically sent to Weathernews and can be checked using a smartphone app.

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(Read the article in Japanese.)

Author: The Sankei Shimbun