New robot designed for use in high radiation environments

December 08, 2012

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

The developer of a new two-armed robot will offer it to the operator of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant for helping to clear debris and cutting pipes in no-go areas.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. said it developed the robot specifically to aid recovery work at the plant, where radiation levels remain so high in some places workers would be exposed to a lifetime maximum in a matter of minutes.

"We hope to call on Tokyo Electric Power Co. to use it," said a company official.

Named MHI-MEISTeR, the robot is able to carry out a wide range of actions. Each arm has seven joints and can wield a tool such as a circular saw, drill or pliers.

The robot's control system is derived from existing technology: operators can guide it using video game controllers and laptop computers.

The robot can be powered by a cable, or it can move independently for up to two hours using batteries, MHI said.

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
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The robot, developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. to help with operations at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, holds a pipe with one hand and prepares to cut it with the other, in a demonstration in Kobe on Dec. 6. (Yoshihiro Yokomakura)

The robot, developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. to help with operations at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, holds a pipe with one hand and prepares to cut it with the other, in a demonstration in Kobe on Dec. 6. (Yoshihiro Yokomakura)

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  • The robot, developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. to help with operations at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, holds a pipe with one hand and prepares to cut it with the other, in a demonstration in Kobe on Dec. 6. (Yoshihiro Yokomakura)

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