High-Access Survey Robot begins work at nuclear power station

Jun 17, 2013
High-Access Survey Robot.

Honda Motor and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) have jointly developed a remotely controlled survey robot that will conduct on-site surveys on the first floor of a nuclear reactor building at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station of Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc. (TEPCO) and help discern structures in high and narrow areas. This newly-developed survey robot will begin working inside the reactor building on June 18, 2013.

The survey was developed to support the actual needs based on information provided by TEPCO concerning conditions inside the reactor building. AIST developed the high-area accessible crawler work platform and Honda developed the survey-performing , which is installed on top of the platform.

In developing the survey-performing robot arm, Honda applied the following technologies which were developed originally for ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot:

  • Technologies that enable 3D display of structures surrounding the subject of the survey using a 3D point cloud (a group of vertices in a coordinated system)
  • A control system that enables simultaneous control of multiple joints
  • Control technologies which enable the robot arm to absorb the impact when it makes physical contact with surrounding structures

With these technologies, the newly developed robot arm can easily approach hard-to-see objects that are behind other objects in a structurally-complex environment in the reactor building by applying simultaneous control on multiple joints. When approaching the objects, the robot uses a zoom camera, laser range finder and located at the tip of the arm to confirm detailed images, collect 3D data and identify the source of radiation.

For the high-area accessible crawler work platform applying a structure with a low center of gravity that enhanced the stability of the robot, AIST applied its various remote control technologies and ingeniously positioned camera, lights, laser marker and other devices, enabling it to be remotely controlled via 400-meter fiber-optic wired LAN and wireless LAN.

Moreover, Honda and AIST jointly developed an intuitive remote-control interface. Using this interface, the operator can control the robot from a remote location such as the Main Anti-earthquake Building and allow the robot to maneuver in dark and narrow places in the reactor building. Once the robot reaches a target spot, the mast can be extended to survey areas as high as seven meters without hitting the robot arm against surrounding structures.

While making progress in the development of ASIMO, a that can be helpful to people while co-existing with people in their daily lives, Honda also has been studying and researching the possibility of using humanoid robots at disaster sites. Following the development of this survey-performing robot arm, Honda will accelerate the development of humanoid robots also designed for use in response to disasters, including the prevention and mitigation of damage caused by a disaster.

In reaction to the Great East Japan Earthquake, AIST has been supporting recovery efforts in various forms including surveying the situation of underground seawater seepage in areas affected by the tsunami, leading the Kesennuma Kizuna Project, conducting and supporting radiation measurement and decontamination, and volume reduction of plant-based radioactive cesium. AIST will continue utilizing primarily its robotic technologies to contribute to the efforts to decommission the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi .

Explore further: Innovative scientists update old-school pipetting with new-age technology

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Flying robots get off the ground

Jun 17, 2013

Attaching a platform to a high-rise building to evacuate people in an emergency, or creating a landing stage for an aircraft on uneven terrain - these are just two areas in which flying robots could have ...

Honda plans nuclear mission for robot

Aug 12, 2011

Japan's Honda is hoping to retool its humanoid robot ASIMO for a nuclear mission so it can join emergency work inside the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant, a press report said Friday.

Japan mulls new robot help with nuclear disaster

May 03, 2011

Japan may be at the forefront of robotics and its children raised on cartoons of robot heroes and villains, but the country has so far had to rely on US-made machines for help tackling its nuclear crisis.

Toshiba shows four-legged robot for nuke disaster

Nov 21, 2012

Toshiba Corp. unveiled a robot Wednesday that the company says can withstand high radiation and help in nuclear disasters. But it remains unclear what exactly the new machine will be capable of doing if and ...

Recommended for you

Misinformation diffusing online

38 minutes ago

The spread of misinformation through online social networks is becoming an increasingly worrying problem. Researchers in India have now modeled how such fictions and diffuse through those networks. They described details ...

Many tongues, one voice, one common ambition

1 hour ago

There is much need to develop energy efficient solutions for residential buildings in Europe. The EU-funded project, MeeFS, due to be completed by the end of 2015, is developing an innovative multifunctional and energy efficient ...

Chinese man brings gay conversion therapy lawsuit

2 hours ago

(AP)—A gay Chinese man said Thursday he was suing a psychological clinic for carrying out electric shocks intended to turn him straight, as well as the search engine giant Baidu for advertising the center.

Panasonic, Tesla to build big US battery plant

2 hours ago

(AP)—American electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. is teaming up with Japanese electronics company Panasonic Corp. to build a battery manufacturing plant in the U.S. expected to create 6,500 jobs.

User comments : 0