Original Date: 11/03/1996
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Advanced Servomanipulator for Remote Handling
An Advanced Servomanipulator was developed and built at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to support nuclear fuel processing applications. The system has no direct mechanical links between the operator control room and the remote manipulator. This unique system is the first remotely operated servomanipulator that is designed to be completely maintainable by remote means. Remote maintainability indicates that worker exposure to radiation is reduced. The entire system can be repaired without human beings entering a high radiation reprocessing cell environment. The ORNL system provides capabilities similar to standard through-the-wall master/slave servomanipulator systems, yet has the necessary mobility to serve larger areas.
The remote manipulator is a dual arm system that provides force feedback to the operator performing the task. The manipulator system is attached to an overhead crane also modified to allow remote maintenance. Each arm of the manipulator has six degrees of freedom and a peak load capacity of 50 pounds. A bank of television monitors are provided in the control room area to provide visual feedback to the operator. Remote television cameras may be repositioned by the operator using the same set of controls provided for the servomanipulator. The operator sits in a chair which has arm controls located on either side. The ORNL staff have applied remote maintainability concepts to experimental systems which might have to be maintained in the hazardous environment. Some examples of maintainability concepts include self-centering components and bolt mechanisms with limited ranges of movement to avoid being accidentally removed from the part. Possible applications of this technology could encompass remote tasks in space environments and environmental cleanup.
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.