MHI and CIT Sign Technical Cooperation Agreement on Robots
For Nuclear Power-related Applications
-- Initial Phase Calls for MHI to Manufacture and Market "Sakura No.2," Successor to CIT's "Quince" Robots for Nuclear Environments –
Tokyo, September 25, 2013 – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) and Chiba Institute of Technology (CIT) in Chiba Prefecture, Japan, have agreed to collaborate in the development and production of robots for applications in the nuclear power field, and a formal agreement on technical cooperation has been signed. As the initial phase of collaboration, plans call for MHI to manufacture and market the new "Sakura No.2" robot independently developed by CIT, through a transfer of CIT technology to MHI.
The "Sakura No.2" robot was developed to work in harsh environments such as nuclear power plants (NPP), based on knowledge gained through CIT's earlier "Quince" robots. The "Sakura No.2" system weighs 47.5 kilograms (kg) and can transport heavy loads up to 60kg at a traveling speed of 1.5 kilometers (km), with ability to climb and descend stairs with inclinations up to 45 degrees. The robot unit features a dust- and water-tight construction in consideration of radioactive decontamination requirements. As an optional feature, the robot arm can be outfitted with a wide-angle camera to collect information in out-of-reach locations and narrow spaces. Applicable operations include debris removal and sample collection.
Under the newly concluded agreement, technology incorporated in developing the "Sakura No.2" robot will be transferred from CIT to MHI in preparation for manufacturing and marketing by MHI. MHI possesses outstanding quality assurance capability as a manufacturer of NPPs and also has a vast accumulation of knowhow in the design, development, commercialization and operation of robots that perform maintenance work inside NPPs.
CIT has a robust track record in research and development of robots. Its latest Quince robots developed specifically for NPP applications were progressively introduced at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant starting in June 2011, three months after the accident. For their contribution to bringing the situation at Fukushima under control, the robots have been highly acclaimed both within Japan, including by Tokyo Electric Power Co., Inc., and abroad.
Going forward, by integrating MHI's superlative product design development technologies and CIT's outstanding capacity in robot R&D, the two partners look to develop and manufacture robots that will contribute to control and support operations not only at NPPs but in all CBRNE disaster areas: chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive.