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Monday, April 25, 2011

Japanese robots to be used at Fukushima

Another article from NHK News :

" Japanese robots that will be used to inspect the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant were shown to the media in Chiba, near Tokyo, on Sunday.

The robots were developed by research groups at Chiba Institute of Technology, Tohoku University and other institutions.

The remote-controlled robots with tracks more than 20 centimeters wide are designed to travel over stairs and debris. They have a camera on a one-meter long probe and a radiation monitor. Detailed 3-D images of the plant's interior can also be created with laser beams.

The cable-operated robot can be used to guide the wireless-controlled robot in areas where wireless communications are difficult.

The semiconductors in the robots are said to deteriorate under high levels of radiation. But tests show that they can withstand radiation levels 400 times higher than the limit for workers.

Eiji Koyanagi of Chiba Institute of Technology says the robots are highly mobile and easy to operate. He says his team will be able to improve the machines by using information obtained from the site.

Tokyo Electric Power Company workers are preparing to use the robots to inspect the plant."

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