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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Disaster Robot Monitors at Fukushima Dai-ichi plant

Credit: Mitsui
The first Japanese Disaster Monitoring Robot, Monirobo ("Monitoring Robot"), arrived at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant on Wedsnday March 17 according to Asahi Shimbun report.
The Monirobo was developed by Mitsui and Nuclear Safety Technology Centre in association with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, METI, after the Tokaimura nuclear accident in 1999 in which two workers died.
Monirobo is designed to operate at radiation levels too high for humans. The 1.5-metre and 600 kg heavy robot runs on a pair of caterpillar tracks with a speed of 2.4 km/hr. It has a manipulator arm for removing obstacles and collecting samples. Sensors include a radiation detector, 3D camera system and temperature and humidity sensors. It can be operated remotely from a distance of about one km. The robot carries heavy shielding to protect electronics, especially cameras, of the effects of radiation.
Environmental radioactivity level by prefecture are available via Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, MEXT.

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