What's cute, yellow, eats snow and poops out bricks of ice?

Meet Yuki-taro, a Japanese robot built to quickly clear roads after heavy snows.

The cute little guy, about 5 feet long and 2 and a half feet high, simply plows into snowbanks, taking in the white stuff, compressing it and neatly stacking it in two-foot-long bricks on his rear bed.

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Created by a consortium of private companies, municipal governments and university researchers, Yuki-taro is equipped with two video cameras in his "eyes" as well as a GPS tracking system to be completely self-guided.

The prototype has already won a design award, and doctored photos of it modified to look like the popular Pokemon character Pikachu have popped up online.

Click here to read a report on the InventorSpot blog, and another on the Pink Tentacle blog.