More than 6,000 experts from 30 countries will be gathering here Aug. 16-19 for this year’s largest robot and unmanned systems show.
Hosted by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, called AUVSI, Unmanned Systems North America 2011 will feature workshops, panels and demonstrations of robots used by the military services, civil and law enforcement agencies and the commercial sector.
More than 3,000 of Qinetiq North America’s Talon robots have been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, mainly to deal with improvised explosive devices and roadside bombs, according to the British global defense technology company.
Another is iRobot Corp., a Massachusetts advanced-technology company whose ground and marine robots — including PackBot, Ranger, Warrior, Seaglider and others — are supporting the Army and other military services.
At Japan’s request, iRobot was one of several U.S. and international companies that deployed robots into the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant soon after Japan’s deadly earthquake and tsunami in March.
The company sent two 30-pound and two 300-pound robots to the station site within a week of the disaster, Hines said, along with six employees who went to assemble the robots and train Japanese operators.
The robots, he added, equipped with strap-on radiation sensors, were the first robots into the reactor cell and provided first access to Unit 1.”On June 6 we provided the first indications going into Unit 1 of radiation levels (the robots) were seeing due to steam uprisings,” Hines said.
“We saw radiation levels of over 4,000 microsieverts,” he added, and later saw higher readings.
“To put that into perspective,” Hines said, “4,000 microsieverts for human beings means death in 90 minutes.”
The robots, he added, are still at work today in the power plant.
Also at work in war zones, over national borders and in disaster areas are unmanned aircraft like the MQ-1 Predator and the Northrop Grumman-built RQ-4 Global Hawk.
Phantom Report: Oops, iRobot let the cat out of the bag over – 4,000 microsieverts and death in 90 minutes.