Thursday, September 26, 2013
M'bishi Heavy Offers Robot For Nuclear Plant Cleanup
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (7011) said Wednesday that it has begun taking orders for a robot designed to assist in the decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Developed by the Chiba Institute of Technology, the wirelessly controlled robot measures 72 x 51 x 18cm. It can climb up and down stairs, as well as travel over debris, thanks to a six-track propulsion system.
The new robot can also operate as deep as 1 meter underwater, enabling it to handle the radioactive water that has accumulated in the reactor buildings. A roughly 1.8-meter-long arm can be used to inspect high places and to open and close doors. The robot can also carry a load of up to 60kg.
According to Mitsubishi Heavy, the robot takes about five months to build. The company said it aims to set a price comparable to those of other robots designed for work in nuclear plants.
The Chiba Institute of Technology improved on a robot it had introduced earlier at the Fukushima plant. The new robot will be on display at the school's Tokyo Skytree Town Campus starting in December.
(The Nikkei, Sept. 26 morning edition)