Tuesday, March 6, 2012

No. 454: An advanced research robot for the recovery of the Fukushima power plant (March 7, 2012)

Robot manufacturers across the country are incessantly developing and upgrading research robots for the quick recovery of the power plant in Fukushima. Topy Industries developed a small research robot that can revolve even in a halfpace about 70 cm wide carrying such devices as camera and dosemeter. It employs the rubber underbody and arms to go up and down a staircase. The robot named Survey Runner will be lent to Tokyo Power Plant by the end of this month.

Existing robots need at least a 100 cm wide halfpace to ascend and descend a staircase, but Survey Runner needs only a halfpace about 60 cm wide because it is much smaller thanthe existing robots. In addition, the arms can make it ascend 45-degree wet steps inside the buildings of the power plant. Because it allows for wired operation, it can be operated even if it is blocked by a thick wall. It comes with about 400 m fiber cable, and the operator can run the Survey Runner in a remote place. Even if it overturns, it can recover its feet thanks to its low center of gravity.

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