When a fusion reactor needs maintenance, it requires a trained professional to work from the inside of the reactor to fix the issues at hand. However, the inside of a fusion reactor contains high levels of toxins and radioactive chemicals that could be harmful to the human body when exposed for extended periods of time. In order to provide workers with a safe environment, the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy provided a solution that allows workers to fix reactors without actually having to go inside the reactor themselves.
The CCFE created a pair of large robotic arms able to withstand rough workplace conditions that are otherwise unsafe for humans. Controlled by an operator, the robotic arms are guided from outside the reactor, providing a safe and efficient alternative for employees performing service and maintenance tasks.
These large robotic arms function by monitoring the worker’s finger and wrist movements on a trigger configuration, which then duplicates every movement onto the robot. The remote handling configuration is so precise that the operator can feel the smallest textures and react accordingly to them. This precise connection to the robotic arms allows the operator to accurately work as though he was inside the reactor himself.
Much like the CCFE, Eclipse Automation understands the need to provide employees with a safe and healthy work environment. Custom automated solutions, such as machine tending and material handling, allow Eclipse to provide the highest in safety standards without compromising on project quality or productivity.
Source: Popular Mechanics