A remotely operated “rescue robot” has been built to help with disaster recovery in hazardous industrial environments.
Forth has developed the rescue robot for use at the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria.
In the event of an incident the robot can be sent in remotely and operated at a safe distance from a command and control centre.
The robot is built on a 1.6t JCB compact excavator platform, specially adapted to withstand conditions in hazardous environments, and fitted with robotics systems and wireless technology as well as specialist cameras and lights.
The robot has the ability to tow a trailer with a fitted hopper that can disperse a bund of sand to contain any type of spillage.
Also fitted to the robot is an affixative spraying system that is used assist in the containment of a nuclear spillage.
It also has the use of a large grapple hook that will be used to move any obstruction the robot may come across.
A specialist 700bar rescue tool similar to that used by the UK Fire and Rescue Service has also been fitted to the robot so it can cut through any hazards in its way and access the rescue zone.
Previous machines which have been used by Sellafield have needed a tether. This is the first product of its type which has been developed for the plant which can be remotely operated.
Forth managing director Mark Telford said: “This is a first for Sellafield to have this type of remotely-operated rescue robot.
“It is important for operators like Sellafield to plan for different scenarios and we are proud to have come up with such an innovative solution.
“We can adapt this technology for any industry or any organisation which would benefit from a rescue robot helping keep humans safe.
“We have developed this 1.6-tonne robot because it was what was required for this particular task.
“But we could develop a product of any size – it could be 10-tonnes, for example, if that was what was needed – and fitted with any type of tools for a range of tasks.
“It’s the ability to remotely operate it from a control and command centre which makes it so versatile in a range of hazardous environments.”
Mark said now the robot has been developed for Sellafield, he would welcome other organisations coming forward to Forth if they thought they would benefit from a similar type of technology.
Department of Civil Engineering https://www.ibu.edu.ba/department-of-civil-engineering/