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MHI’s new robot for the nuclear industry ain’t no typical Japanese failbot

After last month’s dorky debut in which Toshiba’s nuclear disaster robot was a disaster (3Yen / 2012-Nov-22 / Left), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries* has stepped up to plate and hit a homerun for the home team, those lovable losers, Japan Inc.
As shown below, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ “MEISTeR” robot appears to be far more functional and thankfully much less anthropomorphically kawaii/cutesy compared to other Japanese failbots.

MHI-MEISTeR robot tall and short

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries reveals nuclear plant inspection robot MHI-MEISTeR | 2012/12/06
Over the past few weeks, Japan has unveiled robotic exoskeletons and quadrupeds designed to work in radioactive areas, and today Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has revealed its own inspection and maintenance robot. The MHI-MEISTeR (Maintenance Equipment Integrated System of Telecontrol Robot) has two arms …and negotiates uneven terrain, including stair steps up to 22 cm (8.5 inches) on its four independently-moving tank tracks.

M0Ar!~ info and photos in the Comments section…

*Full disclosure: As a subcontractor, I work for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
from time to time often in the field of factory automation.
MHI treats me much better than other Japanese companies.


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5 Responses to “MHI’s new robot for the nuclear industry ain’t no typical Japanese failbot”

  1. m0Ar!~ Says:

    Previous version of MHI’s MEISTeR robot was the MARS-D, which also looks good in this video:

  2. Coligny Says:

    That half round toptrack design for the upper body is genious… you can either keep it level while climbing or radically shift the center of gravity forward or backward if you need to change the balance…
    Come with powerfull arms so it might be able to put himself back on track if he fallsp, and can use same powertools as human…

    (Plus I’m ready to bet that the track drivetrain sub-assembly also allow for alteration of the ground clearance…)

    It’s really made by japanese people ?

  3. Taro Says:

    Coligny wrote:
    I’m ready to bet that the track drivetrain sub-assembly also allow for alteration of the ground clearance

    You won that bet. As you can see in these photos, Master MEISTeR can independently alter the positioning of its tracks. By going onto a track’s “tiptoes,” MEISTeR-kun could gain more ground clearance at any individual track or all of them.

  4. Astaco-Sora Robato Says:

    Hitachi unveils robot to help cleanup at Fukushima plant | Dec. 8, 2012
    “Hitachi Ltd. has developed a remote-control robot that can perform heavy lifting tasks and assist in recovery work at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.”
    “Called Astaco-Sora, it can lift up to 300 kilograms. The robot is expected to be operational at the plant next year.”
    “The design of Astaco-Sora is relatively compact to allow it to reach areas of the nuclear complex where workers cannot. It is 150 centimeters tall and 98 cm wide.”
    “Hitachi said the radio-operated device can perform tasks for 15 hours nonstop.”

  5. Taro Says:

    Here a video of Astaco-Sora Robato* doing “community service” picking up the trash.

    *Grrrreat name, heh?

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