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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

US Rescue Robots for Japan Recovery

Credit: QinetiQ NA

20 days after the natural and nuclear disaster in Japan the Japanese government has now accepted disaster robots from abroad to assist Japan´s reponse teams to accomplish critical and complex recovery tasks at a safer distance from hazardous debris and other dangerous conditions.

US Robots bound for Japan

The first rescue robots have already been shipped from USA and will arrive in Japan the next days. After iRobots, sending four robots and six experts to Japan,  QinetiQ North America announced on March 28, it will provide unmanned vehicle equipment and associated training to aid in Japan’s natural disaster recovery efforts. The equipment being staged in Japan for rapid, on-call deployment includes QinetiQ North America’s Robotic Appliqué Kits, which turn Bobcat loaders into unmanned vehicles in just 15 minutes. The kits permit remote operation of all 70 Bobcat vehicle attachments, such as shovels, buckets, grapples, tree cutters and tools to break through walls and doors. The unmanned Bobcat loaders include seven cameras, night vision, thermal imagers, microphones, two-way radio systems and radiation sensors, and can be operated from more than a mile away to safely remove rubble and debris, dig up buried objects and carry smaller equipment.


Credit: QinetiQ NA, TALON

QinetiQ North America is also staging TALON and Dragon Runner robots in Japan in the event they are needed. TALON robots have previously withstood rigorous deployment and twice daily decontamination at Ground Zero. The TALON robots are equipped with CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive) detection kits that can identify more than 7,500 environmental hazards including toxic industrial chemicals, volatile gases, radiation and explosive risks, as well as temperature and air quality indicators. The TALON robots provide night vision and sound and sensing capabilities from up to 1,000 meters away.
Credit: QinetiQ NA, Dragon Runner
QinetiQ North America’s lightweight Dragon Runner robots, designed for use in small spaces, will be available for investigating rubble piles, trenches, culverts and tunnels. Thermal cameras and sound sensors on the Dragon Runners can provide data from up to 800 meters away, permitting the robot’s “eyes and ears” to serve in spaces too small or dangerous for human access. In addition to the unmanned equipment, a team of QinetiQ North America technical experts will provide training and support to Japan’s disaster response personnel.


About QinetiQ North America
QinetiQ North America delivers world-class technology, responsive services, and innovative solutions for global markets, focusing on US government and commercial customers. More than 6,000 QinetiQ North America engineers, scientists and other professionals deliver high quality products and services that leverage detailed mission knowledge and proven, reliable tools and methodologies to meet the rapidly changing demands of national defense, homeland security and information assurance customers. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, QinetiQ North America had annual revenues of more than $1 billion in the fiscal year that ended March 31, 2010. QinetiQ North America is part of QinetiQ Group PLC (LSE:QQ). For more information, please visit www.QinetiQ-NA.com.

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