Disaster relief robot Quince stuck in Fukushima reactor

October 22, 2011

The first disaster relief robot made in Japan to be used at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has been stranded in the No. 2 reactor building since Oct. 20.

The robot, called Quince, became immobilized on the third floor on its way back out after measuring radiation levels and taking photos in the reactor building. Communication was later cut off.

Quince was developed by the Chiba Institute of Technology, Tohoku University and other parties.

It runs on caterpillar tracks similar to those found on tanks and moves by remote control. It has the capacity to move amid rubble in total darkness and to ascend steep stairs.

Quince has been successful in measuring radiation levels in reactor buildings and other tasks.

Experts will be consulted for advice on how to restart the robot but, failing that, workers are expected to recover it manually, sources said. The robot weighs about 26 kilograms.

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Quince, a disaster relief robot made in Japan, is put to use at the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Quince, a disaster relief robot made in Japan, is put to use at the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

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  • Quince, a disaster relief robot made in Japan, is put to use at the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

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