Sunday, April 17, 2011

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: iRobots to the Rescue!

Well, not really, but they went inside the Reactor 3's building to measure the radiation inside the reactor building and take videos. TEPCO hasn't released the data or the video yet.

(The photo is from Yomiuri: Packbot opening the door to the Reactor 3 building.)

From PC World (4/17/2011):

A pair of remote controlled robots entered a reactor building at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Sunday morning for the first time.

Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power is hoping the iRobot Packbots will be able to provide data on the current condition inside the buildings, parts of which contain high levels of radioactivity and are hazardous for workers to enter.

The robots entered the plant's number 3 reactor building and were due to take radiation and temperature readings. They are equipped with video cameras that can provide a live feed to operators.

Photos released by Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) showed one of the robots manipulating a handle on the second of a pair of double doors that lead into the reactor building.

TEPCO has yet to release any information about what the robots found inside the building. If the mission proves a success, the robots will also be used inside the adjacent reactor buildings 1 and 2 at the plant.

Yomiuri Shinbun reports that a worker at the plant measured the radiation level from outside the door to the Reactor 3 building on Saturday, and it was 270 milli-sievert/hour.

The data from the iRobots will be used by TEPCO to determine how long the workers would be able to stay inside the reactor buildings for repairs.


Anonymous said...

What shocks me is Japan can't come up with what for all intents and purposes are glorified R/C toys. Why would a tech giant like Japan need to wait a month for such mediocre Mechas. All these robots are doing is is toting cameras and survey meters the door opening arms look pretty simple. I can't believe the Japanese couldn't whip up something comparable in a month during an emergency. There used to be a show on the Discovery channel(?) called "Robot Wars" where regular people built robots to fight like gladiators in a ring. They made some impressive devices on that show without an emergency disaster budget behind them.

ASIMO is 10 years old he can wave and dance and push carts you'd think he could carry a geiger counter by now.

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