After this week of news we may want to create new type of weather category - Weather Robots. These round robots with their red eyes are actually air-sampling devices with direct links to the internet. These robots look for pollen, but soon a network of 100 air sensors called CitySense in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will perform a task, only looking at pollution and air pressure instead of pollen.
According to Pink Tentacle:
The so-called "Pollen Robots," which weigh 1 kilogram (2.2 lbs) and measure 30 centimeters (1 ft) across, consist of a monitoring unit housed in a spherical styrofoam shell. A pair of eyes glow 5 different colors -- white, blue, green, red and purple -- to indicate the level of Japanese cedar and cypress pollen in the air. Two hundred hay fever sufferers around the country have volunteered to hang the Pollen Robots outside their homes, where they will monitor the air and send minute-by-minute reports over the Internet to Weathernews headquarters in Tokyo.
Pretty amazing. I can imagine a world where pollen, pollution, and the UV index are more important than Sunny or Rainy indicators for your daily weather. It will be interesting to see how this data gets revealed to the general public, and whether or not (no pun intended) weather forecasters will start to convey this data.
Pollen Robots [Pink Tentacle]
CitySense [official Web site]