Toshiba’s new nuclear inspection robot

Toshiba has unveiled a new robot (pictured) that it says can withstand high radiation and work in risky nuclear areas. The four-legged Tetrapod robot has been built to carry out […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Toshiba has unveiled a new robot (pictured) that it says can withstand high radiation and work in risky nuclear areas.

The four-legged Tetrapod robot has been built to carry out investigative and recovery work in off-limit locations such as the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Weighing 65kg and able to carry up to 20kg, the robot has a camera and a dosimeter, which measures its exposure to radiation and is expected to help investigate the condition of nuclear power plants by remote-controlled operation. The multiple joints of its legs are controlled by a “movement algorithm” which enables the robot to walk on uneven surfaces, avoid obstacles and climb stairs.

It also has a folding arm that can release a smaller robot, which has a second camera to help explore small and narrow spaces.

However, reports claim the nuclear-proof robot did have some glitches during the first public demonstration as it froze and was notably slow in climbing a flight steps. The firm said it is continuing to research and develop the robot’s capabilities to help position and install shielding, stop flows of water and remove obstacles.