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18 June, 2019

MHI Tests Anti-Explosion Robot for Plant Inspections, Capitalizing on Experience Gained in Nuclear Accidents

On June 10, Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), announced that it had carried out an operational test of its prototype EX ROVR robot for plant inspections at JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation’s Mizushima Refinery in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, located in western part of Japan.

The anti-explosion plant-inspection robot EX ROVR measures 70cm long,  45cm wide, and 105cm high when the sub-crawler is folded, and weighs 60kg (photo provided by MHI).The robot has “anti-explosion” features intended to minimize the chances that the robot itself, through sparks or heat, might ignite an explosion or fire when operated in an explosive atmosphere such as flammable gas. There is an increasing need for such robots to save manpower in patrolling oil refineries and the like. MHI’s experience with robotic technologies includes the successful development of radiation-resistance and remote-control capabilities in response to the JCO criticality accident in September 1999 and the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants in March 2011. Based on those experiences, the company has been developing robots for patrolling and inspecting oil and chemical plants, and as a means to respond to infrastructure disasters. The design o...more
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