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Saturday, March 19, 2011

US Ground Robots for Hazmat Mission in Japan

Credit: iRobot, 510 PackBot for HazMat  
One week after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan causing the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima site the Japanese government has asked for robotic help from other countries. One of the first robots that will arrive are from USA donated by iRobot.
NECN Eileen Curran reports that on Thursday morning, the Japanese military contacted US company iRobot asking for help. iRobot is donating two of its 510 PackBots and two 710 Warrior Robots to Japan, along with two week support of six employees. The packbots will be equipped with a hazmat sensor and the warriors will be fitted with a special gripper that can hold a fire hose. iRobot employees won´t be going into the nuclear power plant but actually teach the Japanese military how to use the robots. Nothing was said about the radiation risk for the robots.
According to a leading rescue robot expert microprocessors and especially CCD cameras are highly sensitive to radiation- and thus will unpredictably fail.

The iRobot 510 PackBot for HazMat Technicians detects and identifies dangerous chemical, radiological and organic compounds, providing warfighters, first responders and SWAT teams with critical information on a range of missions
The iRobot 710 Warrior is a powerful and rugged robot that carries heavy payloads, travels over rough terrain and climbs stairs while performing a variety of critical missions such as Bomb Disposal / EOD (IEDs / VBIEDs / UXOs), Route Clearance and Surveillance / Reconnaissance.

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