Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

An 'octopus' robot with eight limbs developed to clear rubble in Fukushima, Japan

23.03.2015

Researchers in Japan have jointly developed a robot with four arms and four crawlers which can perform multiple tasks simultaneously to help clean up the rubble left after the 2011 quake-tsunami disasters in Minamisoma, Fukushima. A collaboration between Waseda and Kikuchi Corporation

On March 13th, a remote controlled four-armed, four-wheeled crawler robot designed to clear rubble and save lives in areas with complex terrain was unveiled at the Kikuchi plant in Minami-Soma Fukushima, previously a designated no-go zone from the nuclear disaster crisis. The robot is a collaborative effort between Waseda University’s Future Robotics Organization and the Kikuchi Corporation.


The Octopus robot.

Copyright : Waseda University

The robot’s name, “Octopus,” derives from the fact that it has eight limbs and is 1.7 meters in height and weights 70 kilograms. The robot can be equipped with a fiber laser capable of cutting through stone and a grappler capable of dealing with radioactive waste. It is expected to have a wide range of applications including assistance in lifesaving efforts for people trapped in buildings destroyed by earthquakes, tsunamis, and fires and radioactive waste management.

Robots of this variety have generally been focused on performing one function at a time on flat terrain. However, the Octopus robot’s ability to utilize its four wheels and crawlers to traverse complex terrain and rubble and its ability to utilize all four of its arms simultaneously thanks to its hydraulic capabilities allows it to perform a wide range of tasks such as clearing rubble, fallen trees, and extinguishing fires.

When traversing uneven terrain, the robot uses its two rear arms to support its body while climbing with its two front arms and crawlers. Each arm is capable of lifting objects of up to 200 kilograms and all four arms can be used to lift the robot’s body from the ground. This type of robot that can utilize four arms simultaneously is very rare. Presently the robot is operated by two people from a remote location but is expected to be operated by one in the future.

During the robot’s unveiling, Professor Masakatsu Fujie commented, “We are planning to establish a research facility in Kikuchi Minami-Soma plant. We hope to overcome the obstacles that come with natural disasters and an aging society, and use this robot to bring new industries to Fukushima prefecture.

A robot to assist in Fukushima reconstruction efforts

The Octopus robot was revealed at a conference for the Fukushima Disaster and Medical Welfare Project. Professor Masakatsu Fujie’s robot was presented alongside other robots designed to deal with the issues presented by the Fukushima nuclear disaster and assist in reconstruction efforts.

Fukushima governor, Masao Uchibori, commented, “The revitalization of Fukushima’s industries is essential and we are becoming a hub for innovation in robotics. Robotics are extremely important for Japanese industries and we must challenge ourselves to produce wonderful products and continue developing Minami-Soma.”

Katsunobu Sakurai, mayor of Minami-Soma, followed the governor and commented, “Before the disaster, Minami-Soma was a hub for robotics. Many employees left and spread themselves across Japan but an enthusiasm to rebuild Minami-Soma has reinvigorated our robotics initiatives. Kikuchi Corporation’s enthusiasm has persisted despite the government’s no-go zone designation and for that I would like to express my gratitude.” The mayor continued by expressing his hopes for the robotics industry and his desire to revitalize Minami-Soma.

Waseda University | ResearchSEA
Further information:
http://www.waseda.jp/top/en-news/24089
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Machine Engineering:

nachricht PRESTO – Highly Dynamic Powerhouses
15.05.2017 | JULABO GmbH

nachricht Making lightweight construction suitable for series production
24.04.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.

All articles from Machine Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold

26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Switchable DNA mini-machines store information

26.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>