Hitachi unveils robot to help cleanup at Fukushima plant (w/video)

(Nanowerk News) 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.
Astaco-Sora robot
Hitachi Ltd.’s Astaco-Sora robot picks up an electric line with its left arm and severs it with the pincer of its right arm during a demonstration in Hitachi, Ibaraki Prefecture.
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.
Operators control the robot by watching its image on a monitor via six cameras installed on the body of Astaco-Sora.
The robot can lift concrete blocks, electric lines and many other objects with its two pincer-like arms. The arms can also be fitted with electric saws and other tools.
It was shown to reporters on Dec. 7.
Source: By Tomoya Fujita, Asahi Shimbun