Friday, June 10, 2011

No. 285: A Japanese robot goes to Fukushima (June 10, 2011)

Tokyo Electric Power decided to use the robot developed by a research team led by Chiba Institute of Technology for the jobs in the Fukushima Plant. The robot will go inside the contaminated buildings to collect the contaminated water and measure the water level. Named Quince, it was developed jointly by Chiba Institute of Technology, Tohoku University, and International Rescue System Institute. It is 1 m long and 50 cm wide. It is a wire remote control robot, and the operator navigates it on the screen of a PC. It can rise and fall a staircase because it climbs over a steep slope and a 40-cm bump by swinging the four caterpillar tracks. The robot is scheduled to film the inside of the buildings besides collecting contaminated water and measuring the water level using the arm. It can operate for several hours even in the place where workers cannot work because the radiation dosage is such a high degree of about 20 sievert per hour. The robot will be shipped to Fukushima in a few days. Tokyo Electric Power is currently using American robots to measure radiation dosage in the Fukushima Plant, and Quince is the first Japanese robot to work there.

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