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 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.
Scientists from Hannover develop a novel lightweight production process
27.09.2017 | IPH - Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover gGmbH
PRESTO – Highly Dynamic Powerhouses
15.05.2017 | JULABO GmbH
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
18.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy