Sunday, November 20, 2011

No. 357: Charging a robot by remote control in the nuclear power plant in Fukushima (November 21, 2011)

Chiba Institute of Technology developed a new robot that can be charged by remote control. The new robot succeeds Quince that was also developed the same college. Named Rose Mary tentatively, it eliminates the replacement of batteries because it is a plug-in robot chargeable by remote control. It carries a more powerful motor than Quince and allows for a five hour continuous operation. The operator makes it travel to the always-on charging equipment installed near the building and connects it to the charging equipment at night when it is not in use. It takes 3-4 hours to finish charging the new model. Because a Quince requires a worker to spend 15 minutes on changing the battery, the new model reduces the amount of radioactivity that a worker receives.

The new model is loaded with a motor of 150 W that is 2.5 times more powerful than Quince, and it can carry instruments and cameras up to a total weight of 50 kg. The existing model, Quince, can carry up to 20 kg and allows only for a three hour continuous operation. The Quince brought to a standstill in the contaminated building because of battery exhaustion is abandoned and left untouched at present. The new model will be ready within the month.

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