Author Topic: WULL-E: ROBOTS DOING DIRTY WORK  (Read 1300 times)

Offline furtune

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WULL-E: ROBOTS DOING DIRTY WORK
« on: July 30, 2008, 05:40:02 PM »

Like Wall-E, the star of the new Pixar animated film, the machines are tackling man-made waste.

The real-life robots have been working in highly radioactive areas of Dounreay in Caithness in the Highlands.

A spokeswoman said: "They have really proved themselves, particularly the semi-automatic ones that can be pre-programmed."

She said they were being used more and more in areas too hazardous for staff to work in and proving vital in the decommissioning of the former research site - clearing away highly radioactive waste.

The machines include ones which can be pre-programmed and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs).

The spokesman for Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) added: "Decommissioning these facilities is challenging, and an ideal environment in which to deploy remotely operated equipment."
One orange-coloured robot which will be used in the process is similar to those used on car production lines.

When a container of pieces of breeder comes along the line in front of it, the machine will open it, swab it for contamination and close it.

This will all be done in a sealed cell which workers cannot access because of the radiation hazard.

French-manufactured manipulators, or bionic arms, will also allow staff standing on the other side of a thick wall to work on breeder material without exposing themselves to radiation.

Robots are also being widely used in reprocessing plants undergoing decontamination.

The spokeswoman said: "Using remote tools such as the Brokk 180 can complete some physical decommissioning tasks more quickly than human workers, and without exposing them to the hazards.

"The Brokk was used in smashing down walls. For a person to do that they would have to wear an airline suit and a sledge hammer."

ROVs will also be sent to the seabed off Dounreay to gather radioactive particles linked to historic rogue discharge from the plant.

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WULL-E: ROBOTS DOING DIRTY WORK
« on: July 30, 2008, 05:40:02 PM »

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