Source: Savannah River Site
Date: 5/1/96    Record No.: 10323
Contact: W. Ivan Lewis, 803-725-3527; Greg Teese, 803-725-2051

Based on needs arising out of SRS's own suite of low pressure/temperature reactors built in the 50s, SRS has extensive capabilities to design, develop, build, install and operate unique robots, instrumentation, teleoperators and special purpose mechanical equipment for use in radioactive and hazardous environments (such as reactors, chemical separation facilities and waste processing and storage plants) for surveying, inspection, decontamination, dismantling and manipulation functions. These systems can be autonomous, or have a human operator in the loop.

SRS has adapted a number of commercially available robot systems. For example:

SWAMI, Stored Waste Autonomous Mobile Inspector, is a modified version of the HelpMate robot produced by HelpMate Robotics, Inc. It will perform the required weekly inspections of drums of waste, improving efficiency, documentation and accuracy, and greatly reducing personnel exposure. Robots like this will become increasingly important for future increasing waste inspection needs associated with decommissioning. A second generation version, SWAMI II, will identify rust spots, dents and blisters on drums.

Remote Controlled Mobile Devices; e.g., a forklift; a Bobcat Loader/Excavator; a Mobile Teleoperator equipped with manipulators of various kinds, or high pressure water scabbling, vacuum, superheated water, or pneumatic tools. A crane-like vehicle has been used to observe operations at a radioactive work site.

These systems can go on inspection tours looking for fire, security, radiation, leaks, etc.

SRS is active in the Utility and Manufacturers Robotics Users Group (UMRUG) [see article in Nuclear News, Oct. '95, Vol 38, No. 13, by Peter Hanby of Com Ed, who is UMRUG Chair].