Mustangs for Fukushima

Correspondents "MK-Ural" visited the lab robotics Miassky branch SUSU and saw with my own eyes the mechanical assistants person. Prototypes of science fiction Miass robots resemble small, and yet what they can do — often fantastic!

Robots and robotic engineers of nuclear scientists Miassa sent to Moscow for the international exhibition "Integrated Safety and Security Exhibition 2011". Perfectly proven devices should interest of security of public and private agencies, experts from the nuclear power industry, in general anyone who interferes with work in hostile environments, where human presence is undesirable. Builders are smart and capable robots are going to demonstrate their ability to both domestic and foreign experts, because we are convinced that the Russian — means the best.

"Mom, Auburn lost!"

This phrase in the video shown us, says a mobile phone former FSB colonel, now the owner of a private firm "Vympel" from Ekaterinburg Valery Arkhipov. The camera captures the impassive face Valeria at a time when he was not yet fully come to life after mild concussion from the explosion in the center of the city, says: "Mom, I’m alive, alive … but Auburn was killed," — says bitterly sapper.

Auburn — a nickname first Miassky robot-sapper (the creators dubbed it the Mantis), who for several years worked in Yekaterinburg on clearance of various objects. For those who have forgotten: the mid-90s and up to the beginning of zero capital of the Urals retains the glory and crime capital of our country. Almost daily rattled shots, explosions, bloodshed, and Valery just was thus spices that ever neutralize most deadly bookmarks.

This is what happened that day. Downtown, on the street — black jeep allegedly mined. When the area was cordoned off, the matter proceeded in company with Valery Ginger. Once the manipulator mounted on Ginger, took mine from underneath the car, there was a huge explosion.

Video continues — sharp clap, trembling hand of the operator, the ruined jeep, car alarms howling, close at his side — tipped robotic arm swept away from a little distance, and then — calls Arkhipova Miassky center and then the mother.

At this time, no joke — a real mine on the real streets of Yekaterinburg, "hello" rivals some influential person. If, instead of Ginger in this situation worked alive sapper in the lethal outcome of clearance for it could be no doubt. This is not a movie where the hero throws in the first ten meters, then he gets up and says some pathetic speech something of the type "we will prevail" and the night after that, and still makes love to distraction.

In life, it’s different. Man would have killed the blast, and then would have covered with hail and debris. It is therefore called the mother calmed Valery Arkhipov, which is why his voice so much bitterness — lost friend, colleague, even iron.

In those years, he was recognized as Arkhipov, he happened to 600 (!) Visits per year, up to 150 (! — You just think about these terrible figures. — Ed.) Of them — fighting, that is associated with the real explosive device. Here also count the amount of work performed by Ginger.

By the way, now in Yekaterinburg in Arkhipova in Chelyabinsk at a local riot police work "twins" of the Red. A little, maybe modernized, but like real brothers with familial, Miasskoe, features …

"Mustang" at the start

It all started in the late 80s of the last century, particularly intense after the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, when the Soviet leadership, and all of the technical world was convinced that the required robots to work in badly polluted environment there. In the Soviet Union, these machines did not exist, provided by the German units "blown away" by radiation and radiation frighteningly fast.

So, willy-nilly, the main work of liquidators got people that, of course, led to the tragic consequences of many of them. The same, incidentally, is happening at Fukushima — the scientists assure us of Miassa. The Japanese, who have put their nuclear power stations Americans in the mid 70-ies of the last century, were convinced of the absolute, a 100 percent safety of their facilities. Chernobyl did not make any Japanese, nor the rest of the world undertake the development of such robots, despite the fact that three people from the Japanese Oversight Services refused to put his signature to the document of acceptance of nuclear power plants. After a quarter century after Chernobyl, Fukushima broke, and again had to sacrifice people, especially the ill-fated station staff who are forced to hand the epicenter were sent on mission to serve potekshy reactor.

— We have contacted colleagues in 1989 from the Institute of Physical and Technical Problems. According to the terms of reference of the Government of the USSR was to create a compact robot that would be able to work in the area of radiation and still get through to where not everyone will be able to go. Despite all the subsequent events (the collapse of the cooperation within the Union), such a mechanism was set up in record time, — says one of the founders of Miass robotics, Professor, Department of Automation MF SUSU, Mayor Miassa Igor Voinov.

Since then, the robots literally stepped far forward. Today they work at several sites of the former Ministry of Nuclear Industry in Russia, one of them — the cable-series "Mustang" — recently sent to the exhibition in Moscow, which will be followed immediately delivered to the customer from the nuclear industry. At the enterprises of the Russian nuclear monopoly now has several robots created in Miass.

— Even after the Chernobyl disaster, when we began to address these technical challenges, our robots have been designed to work in extreme conditions exorbitant, — said Boris Morozov, head of the Laboratory of Robotics Miassky branch of South Ural State University. — Here is a series of robots under the name "Mustang" is designed for 100 hours of continuous operation at the epicenter of a nuclear explosion — calmly explains the scientist, stroking the steel body of the child.

Seeing with our photographer stretched surprise the person adds that the 100 hours of work, of course, without the effects of shock waves and radiation. That is, in the present conditions at the plant in Fukushima Miass robots could successfully solve the problem. But there, as we know, people are working. And one person has already died, clutching an overdose of radiation.

— In general, we called up the guys from the operational services of Rosatom, they were told that they were ready to help in the aftermath of the Fukushima accident. But the Japanese are reluctant to accept help and very selectively. Assume the use of Russian equipment at they refused, called the French, and those also have their good robots. Top it all the way: at the last moment with a truly Japanese politeness, they refused and the French aid — continues Boris Morozov.

Maybe it rezanet hearing, but Fukushima — an excellent testing ground for various types of equipment. Including robotics, essential when working in high radiation. Of course, the inventors Miass just dream test their robots in "field" conditions, in a situation where the possibility of equipment can be used at 100 percent of the resources pledged creators. While
continuing fruitful cooperation with specialists from the engineering training center Robotics (ITUTSR, Moscow), the structure of Rosatom, which is headed by Oleg GOIDIN, a native of Snezhinsk, Chelyabinsk region. Training center is today the main and the main customer Miasskoe robots, each instance of which is presented in the singular. Robot Dismantlers today is already working at nuclear corporation, cable-laying after the Moscow exhibition also will become the property of Rosatom.

Interested Boris Alexandrovich, what is the value present in the laboratory cable layers? It turns out that about two million rubles. "It is, of course, is not the price for its capabilities," — says the source. According to him, the price of similar robots Western competitors, for example, well-known company Remotec (part of the transnational corporation Nortrop Grumman) starts at six million rubles. "An analogue of, say, Rufus, who wanted to purchase for Moscow riot police, cost of 150,000 pounds sterling. As you can see, we produce the same quality or even higher, much cheaper "- sums up Boris Morozov.

Will there be a cluster of robotics in Miasse?

Of course, created in Miasse machines are not designed for mass production. First of all, due to very specific tasks, who are trained to solve instead of people. Agree to submit to the home or even on a normal production of the same red or cable-something does not work. First, expensive, and secondly — it is easier and more efficient to send a man. Miass robots are used for other purposes — namely, as a replacement for the man. In this, they, as they say, "trick."

— Who do you see your future customers, who will be your primary audience at the "Integrated Security"? — Ask Boris Morozov.

— First of all it’s power structures, MES, a division of Atomic Energy — do not hesitate to meet Boris. — Even when Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin government issued a decree on the establishment of case centers at Minatom, which would be equipped including our technique. But ten years later, and things are there — says Morozov.

Still, the case slowly moved forward. Has proven himself sappers of mantis are increasingly interested in intelligence. Boris Morozov said that a couple of years ago on the teachings of his Mantis competed with the same Varan domestic production. Heir to the Red without problems myself, "went" … on a bus, according to legend exercises mined by the FSB, has neutralized all the bookmarks. Monitor lizards to enter the same trolley will need a ladder, after which the 200-pound machine of just could not turn around in the narrow aisle. But something with a Varan then managed to defuse it. By the way, while the FSB uses just monitor lizards, although not formally officers of this department admire Mantis.

Now at the top level in the Chelyabinsk region indicate the need for and the development of individual clusters in the economy of the Chelyabinsk region. There are ideas about the development of engineering cluster in certain areas, tourism, engineering …

Judging by what we have shown in Miass, here today clearly outlines of the future robotostroitelnogo cluster. Paradoxical as it sounds, but a number of its characteristics of robots Miassa surpass Western counterparts. Their competitive advantage — shtuchnost, sharpness on the interests of the customer.

— Roughly speaking, here in front of you see a robot who is trained to walk up the stairs, into the elevator, turn around on the narrow space and stand on tiptoe. And from then on by the customer is free to hang round it by any technical means, including the additional "eyes", various sensors, and so on — says Morozov. — We saw the analogue cable layer of competitors. But he has a feature — an expensive fiber optic cable it is able to unwind and make it to the desired point. After the cable is working. And our Mustang after it finishes all manipulations can also pull up the cable and bring yourself back on.

In general, from all seen and heard us remains mixed feelings: on the one hand — a unique product, such as a technological breakthrough for quite a narrow segment of the market. On the other — the lack of proper advertising makes Miasskoe robots sort of small-town phenomenon. Scientists, it seems, do not even realize the extent of the problem: almost jokingly admit that sometimes customers find them through a third party, looking for information … on the rumors. Maybe after the Moscow presentation that will change?

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