Technology of Anti-Disaster Robotics (6) 2011.04.08

Technical Issues to discuss before introducing robots into the site

Hajime Asama, Professor, the University of Tokyo

The following is the list of environmental conditions and issues to be considered before deploying robot systems.

(1) Anti-radiation property of robot systems
In the technology development of nuclear robots and space robots, the issue is already considered to some extent. Unless in the extremely high dose rate environments, those robots have a good chance to work.

(2) Remote control from a distance
For a distance of 2-5 km, the remote control is feasible by using ground wave. In the case of the control from a distance of over 5 km or under low visibility conditions, following methods are considered.

  • Set up radio repeaters for signal relay
  • Build the radiation shield relatively close to the site and operate in the shield
  • Get a preferential measure made under the Radio Act, and use high radio intensity for the remote control
  • Use satellite communications
  • Use high directional communications or boosters
  • Allow latency and operate in low speed
  • Change frequency bands and the output

(3) Duration of the battery

  • Most of battery-powered robots operate for 1-2 hours
  • Charge battery in the radiation shield built relatively close to the site, and operate there
  • Apply wire communications or hybrid wired/wireless communications
  • Use the super capacitor

(4) Waterproofness

  • Apply waterproof robots already created in great number

(5) Rubble

  • Apply those robots with high mobility on the rubble pile that have been developed in great number

(6) Decontamination

  • Apply waterproof robots iteratively with water decontamination
  • Dispose used robots without decontamination

(7) Doors

  • Robots that can open/shut doors have been already created.

(8) Locomotion in narrow spaces

  • Collect information of the field including its drawings or images, and select robots with an appropriate type of mobility

(9) Clearing the rubble

  • Apply large remote-controllable robots such as the unmanned earthwork machineries

Each of these technological issues have currently been discussed in details by the Task Force. The result of considerations will be publicized accordingly.



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