Japan earthquake and tsunami relief being aided by unmanned systems and payloads from Qinetiq North America
RESTON, Va., 2 April 2011. Unmanned vehicles, armed with thermal imagers, night vision technology, radiation sensors and other equipment are being sent to Japan by QinetiQ North America to aid with disaster recovery efforts.
Posted by John McHale
RESTON, Va., 2 April 2011.Unmanned vehicles, armed with thermal imagers, night vision technology, radiation sensors, and other equipment are being sent to Japan by QinetiQ North America to aid with disaster recovery efforts.
The equipment being staged in Japan for rapid, on-call deployment includes QinetiQ North America's Robotic Applique Kits, which turn Bobcat loaders into unmanned vehicles in just 15 minutes. The kits permit remote operation of all 70 Bobcat vehicle attachments, such as shovels, buckets, grapples, tree cutters, and tools to break through walls and doors. The unmanned Bobcat loaders include seven cameras, night vision, thermal imagers, microphones, two-way radio systems and radiation sensors, and can be operated from more than a mile away to safely remove rubble and debris, dig up buried objects and carry smaller equipment.
QinetiQ North America is also staging TALON and Dragon Runner robots in Japan in the event they are needed. TALON robots have previously withstood deployment and twice daily decontamination at ground zero. The TALON robots are equipped with CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive) detection kits that can identify more than 7,500 environmental hazards including toxic industrial chemicals, volatile gases, radiation, and explosive risks, as well as temperature and air quality indicators. The TALON robots provide night vision and sound and sensing capabilities from as far as 1,000 meters away.
QinetiQ North America's lightweight Dragon Runner robots, designed for use in small spaces, will be available for investigating rubble piles, trenches, culverts, and tunnels. Thermal cameras and sound sensors on the Dragon Runners can provide data from as far as 800 meters away, permitting the robot's eyes and ears to serve in spaces too small or dangerous for human access.
In addition to the unmanned equipment, a team of QinetiQ North America technical experts will provide training and support to Japan's disaster response personnel.