Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has developed a robot that will soon roll into the reactor building of the wrecked nuclear plant Fukushima Daiichi.
The two-armed Maintenance Equipment Integrated System of Telecontrol Robot (MEISTeR for short), will get over, up and down ramps with a 40-degree slope and stairs with steps up to 0,22 meters.
The 440-kilo robot will begin its mission using 360-degree cameras to document the inner conditions of the reactor building. The footage from these four cameras will then be compiled into a 360-degree view to map the interior of the building.
Then energy company Tepco who owns the nuclear power plant also aims to test the robot’s ability to perform some clearing work with its robotic arms. Each of which has seven degrees of freedom(=seven axes) just like a human arm, and a lifting capacity of 15 kilos (33 lbs).
It is also able to drill into concrete for later analysis of radiation levels, it can cut pipes and other metal objects that may hinder its way through the building.
The robot is called Meister, it is 1,25 meters long (4 ft 1 in), 0,7 meters wide (2 ft 4 in) and 1,3 meters high (4 ft 3 in). It is powered with electric motors and with moves like a tank on tracks with electricity continually supplied via a cable but can operate without a cable for 2 hours on battery power alone.