Winter in Niigata, Japan is often associated with heavy snow that pose problems for residents who then have to shovel away all that snow from driveways and entrances to their homes. The elderly often find this task too heavy for their aged body, which is why a team of researchers have developed the Yuki-taro autonomous snowplow robot. Measuring 63″ x 37″ x 30″ and weighing 880 lbs, the Yuki-taro boasts a GPS navigation system and two embedded video cameras in its eyes, searching for snow and scooping it up via the mouth. The robot’s innards will then compress snow into hard blocks measuring 24″ x 12″ x 6″ which is expelled from its rear end later. These ice blocks can subsequently be recycled in the summer as an alternative source of refrigeration or cooling. Each Yuki-Taro will retail for approximately $8,000 when it is commercially available in half a decade’s time. I sure hope my popsicles by then won’t be made from recycled snow!