The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, (NEDO), and the Chiba Institute of Technology have designed a new robot which will be used to investigate the basement areas of the reactors at Fukushima Daiichi. Unmanned robotic equipment is essential for ongoing work operations at the crippled plant, where radiation levels are often found too high for humans to work around. TEPCO operators have also been employing the robots in less-contaminated areas, to conserve doses which otherwise would be absorbed by workers.
The robot is named “Sakura”, and was designed smaller than other models (39 cm wide and 50 cm tall), in order to maneuver in the basements to check for damaged piping.
The Chiba Institute of Technology has been developing and supplying robots for use at the Fukushima plant since June 2011.
The first, and possibly most popular design used was the ‘Quince’ robot, which was deployed to the Fukushima site to check inside the units and take photographs, until it was abandoned inside of Reactor 2 in October 2011 by the extreme conditions. After the loss of the ‘Quince’ bot, ‘Quince 2’ was developed and deployed to the site.
Then, the Institute revealed the ‘Rosemary’ design, which was designed to perform work operations in the reactor buildings, while a second design was equipped with a camera and designed to check piping near ceilings.
Source: JiJi Press
Source: The Japan Times