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» “Crawling” robot can provide safety to workers of decontamination

UOZU, Toyama Prefecture–A machinery maker here has developed a “crawling” robot capable of penetrating hard-to-reach areas for decontamination work at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The device, built by Sugino Machine Ltd., moves along on a caterpillar track comprising a belt wrapped around a set of wheels. A user can safely manipulate it up to 100 meters from a contaminated area while viewing live footage from a built-in camera.

“This is the first radio-controlled robot in Japan that can get into every nook and cranny of a building. We want it to be used to help decontaminate the Fukushima nuclear power plant,” a Sugino Machine official said.

The robot is 110 centimeters long, 70 cm wide and 80 cm tall, making it more compact than a conventional work robot. It is capable of traversing rubble and uneven surfaces to travel to the work site, then use interchangeable equipment mounted on top to suck up dust and dirt, remove contaminants by discharging high-pressure water and perform other tasks.

The device is capable of carrying a load of up to 100 kilograms and has a battery life of five hours. It went on sale in October with a price tag of about 10 million yen ($86,750).
<Media Report>
Robot brings safety, dexterity to Fukushima cleanup arsenal (Asahi Newspaper)

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