Toshiba presents a robot capable of operating in areas contaminated by radiation
The earthquake that hit Japan last year has caused many Japanese companies and universities devote time to developing new building systems that make buildings more resistant or, for example, develop mobile network backup that are easy to deploy. However, the line that has attracted more business is undoubtedly, the field of nuclear power following the crisis of the Fukushima plant. Phones with radiation counters or exoskeletons with anti-radiation protection are examples of projects that have emerged after the nuclear crisis is known in the world (and to be demantelar). The latest company to join this path has been since Toshiba has just introduced a 4-legged robot capable of operating in high radiation and which could explore an emergency center, for example, for reconnaissance or search and rescue.
With some resemblance to AlphaDog the U.S. Marines, the robot is able to move on a surface full of debris in environments that would be difficult that moved an emergency kit though the environment is contaminated and present high concentrations radiation (which does not interfere with wireless communication for controlling the robot).
The idea is that this Robot can be used in exploration tasks restricted areas such as the suppression chamber of the Fukushima plant, after the accident, is in an area inaccessible by debris that surround and with this idea, the Toshiba robot can move and walk on uneven surfaces (walking on rubble) or down stairs while sending real time camera images with their cameras.
Despite the intentions, the presentation conducted by Toshiba did not demonstrate the full potential is assumed by the specifications since the movements are slow and even, for a moment, one of the robot’s legs froze and required a reboot (according to the chronicles). In fact, despite the intentions and the “debut”, it seems that adapting to changes in the ground remains for improvement because it requires a long time to make moves (something that is not desirable in emergency situations).
Anyway, the idea is quite interesting and follows the path opened by other research projects (even cuadricÃ³pteros) seeking the use of robots in these situations to prevent emergency personnel or operators will have to expose more than necessary.
Images: Phys.orgTags: Fukushima, Japan, Robot, robotics, Toshiba