On March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake and tsunami hit Tohoku area, eastern Japan. Since then, the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station has been facing a crisis because of loss of all power, and resulting in meltdown accidents. Three reactor buildings were seriously damaged because of hydrogen explosions, and one building was also out of control. It was too dangerous situation for human to inspect inside the buildings because of radioactive material release. To respond to this crisis, we considered using our rescue mobile robots for surveillance missions. Before delivering one of our robots to TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company), we needed to solve some technical issues, such as hardware reliability, communication function, and radiation hardness of the electric components. Furthermore, we needed to add some sensors and functions to respond to this crisis. Therefore, we began a redesign project to equip the robot for disaster response missions. Finally, one of the robots was delivered to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants on June 20, 2011, and it performed some important missions inside the buildings. In this talk, we will introduce the requirements for the exploration mission in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants, report how we fulfilled them, and report some recent mission results.


Keiji Nagatani received Ph.D degree from university of Tsukuba, Japan in 1997. Between 1997 and 1999, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, and between 1999 and 2005, he was a lecturer at Okayama University, Japan. Currently, he is an associate professor in the graduate school of engineering, Tohoku university, Japan. His research interest is field mobile robotics, particularly motion control of planetary rovers and development of tracked vehicles for search and rescue mission in disaster environments.

Associate Prof. Keiji Nagatani
Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku Univ.

Rescue Mobile Robot Quince: Toward Emergency Response to Nuclear Accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants on March 2011
15:55-16:45, Monday, July 16, 2012

Keynote Speaker