Friday, April 20, 2012

No. 491: A new system to operate 10 heavy construction machines simultaneously (April 20, 2012)

A remote control technology to operate heavy construction machines is strongly sought in the Fukushima Nuclear Power plant to reduce the exposed dose of workers. Kajima, one of Japan’s leading general contractors, developed an unmanned construction system that operates10 heavy construction machines simultaneously by remote control. The operator can navigate them in the control cabin 500 m away from machines. The current system can navigate a machine 100 m away at most. The first shipment of this system is being used to dismantle and demolish wreckage in Fukushima. The company plans to use it to take out used nuclear fuels in the future.

Optical fibers stretch around and a wireless LAN environment is established in the field site. The operator can receive control signals from machines and camera images of the field smoothly. As the construction machines have multiple cameras and microphones inside and outside, he can control machines confirming the images and warning sounds. Furthermore, this system can supply fuel to machines wirelessly.   

An example of unmanned construction work

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