In March 2011 the Fukushima nuclear power stations were severely damaged by the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. Three nuclear reactors were without suitable cooling and underwent a catastrophic meltdown. The clean-up and decommissioning has required thousands of scientists across the world to invent, develop and deliver new or improved techniques. Part of the planned decommission process requires the molten nuclear fuel to be removed. However, there is currently very little knowledge about the location and makeup of the fuel debris. The high radiation environments within the reactor buildings have made optical camera systems inoperable. A promising method of visualising and characterising the fuel debris is to use acoustic imaging sonar systems within the reactor buildings. This is because sonar systems are very tolerant to radiation and offer the ability to not only image the shape of fuel debris but also to look inside it. A decommissioning programme can only be advanced once the full nature of the fuel debris is known.
There therefore existed a need for a large scanning system which would allow us to position sonar probes and image simulated uranium fuel debris, nuclear reactor core components and nuclear grade pipework (shown in detail in one of the attached images). This scanning system, which employs the drylin bearings, will allow us to develop new imaging methodologies of nuclear fuel in a safe and adaptable environment.
The Igus Robot has been included in a concept that has been designed specifically for the emerging cannabis industry. The line concept is to package ‘joints’ into trays of 3 or 5 units, seal the tray (with a foil heat seal) and place the trays into cardboard cartons ready for final packaging.
The Robot is placed in line with other packaging machinery, downstream from CME’s making machine, the Autocone. The robot will be fitted with a stepper or servo motor for a 4th axis of movement and a gripper assembly for picking one joint at a time.
The robot communicates with a camera vision system to ensure effective picking of joints from the conveyor belt and subsequent placement into final trays.
Laboratory-based experimental systems play a critical role in population biology, community ecology, and evolutionary biology. Such systems use model organisms – which typically reproduce rapidly and pose few ethical issues – to generate data to test and develop models and theory in arenas which provide analogues of real systems. One of the most well-established uses single-celled freshwater protists which can be assembled in communities of competitors, predators, and parasites. This system has been used for over 100 years to test fundamental ecological theory and processes, and recently has provided data to develop methods to help predict the loss of populations, a key goal for conservation prioritisation given current extinction rates.
I am a wildlife camera man specialising in underwater cinematography. I have spent the last 25 years working on productions such as Blue Planet, Planet Earth and Frozen Planet for the BBC natural History Unit and more Recently Our Planet for Netflix.
In recent years as a supplement to traveling to locations to film animals underwater I have started to film underwater animals in science facilities and more recently in my home tropical marine aquarium studio.
Filming animals ex Situ allows for greater control, higher magnification photography and the use of specialist techniques to elucidate exciting parts of animals morphology and life history in ways not possible in the wild. Simply we can wait longer for animals to behave and study them in far greater detail. It is not a replacement for filming in the wild but a wonderful supplement to it.
We have been seeking to develop a Marine suitable Helmseat Recliner Mechanism for some time as part of a new, innovative product range. The idea has proven simpler than a solution due to the rigours of an environment where salt water gets into everything, the sun beats down mercilessly & guests/crew spill all manner of things with wild abandon!
After several dead ends, working with igus UK we are now closing on a solution in the form of a RoboLink powered mechanism, where a high IP rating, solid performance & reliability are built in.
Snake arm or ophiomorphic robots are currently in use in the aerospace and nuclear industries for visual inspection in tight or restricted access within wing structures or in nuclear reactors where direct human access is not possible due to restricted access and the hazardous environment.