If you see little white styrofoam robots hanging out in Tokyo this spring, don’t worry—it’s not an apocalyptic bot invasion, it’s the pollen-fighting mercenaries from Weathernews, Inc. These 2.2lb-heavy bots are just a foot tall and have eyes that glow in five different colors that indicate the level of pollen in the air. (In Japan, it’s mostly cedar and cypress that induces allergies.)
200 volunteers will be hanging these bots near their homes. The monitoring units inside the robots will record the pollen levels in the air and send reports, updated by the minute, to HQ, which will consequently zap the info to the pollen map.