President’s Message/Message du Président Spring / Printemps 2018 19 THE VIDEO TELECONFERENCING and telepresence robot has a wide range of active and passive applica- tions: office-to-office communica- tion, remote business-to-business communication, remote viewing, inspection of environment, transfer of images, and other. It provides access to locations by remote control, and it provides feed- back to the operator through video, audio and data. Typically, the robot APM can be mounted on various mobile platforms (MP). The main functionalities and applications are: ● Office-to-office communication, remote business-to-business com- munication ● Remote viewing, inspection of environments, transfer of images ● Auto docking and power charging with operation of more than 6hrs. ● Automatic detection of obstacles and automatic stop for safety ● Local touch-screen display ● Application in commercial, public and private environments. HEALTH ASSISTANT ROBOT This robot can meet many care receiv- ers' health and security needs in non- acute health care environments such as elderly care centres, rehabilitation centres and home elder care. It can manage massive personal information, enabling autonomous ward rounds. It has intelligent care receiver indentification capability, fetching in care databases including medication and meal schedules. It can also monitor and collect health indicator data, e.g., heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and blood glucose. Immediate warning is given of abnormal situations and remote help sought. ■ Nuclear robots enable maintenance procedures to be conducted without risk to human health. Their capacity for very precise movement also ensures that delicate tubing is not damaged during the process. At the core of CANDU (CANada Deuterium Uranium) nuclear react- ors is the Calandria vessel. It con- tains a network of horizontal tubes for fuelling the reactor. After sev- eral decades of service these fuel- ling tubes must be replaced in a process known as “re-tubing” of the reactor. It is of utmost import- ance that during this operation no debris or foreign matter remains inside the Calandria. With robots for such operations the user can pick up and remove any debris, and can also inspect the interior of the nuclear reactor core. A robot system for operation inside the Calandria vessel is used for both visual inspection and hardness inspection. The robot is also a contingency tool to be used to collect foreign material created during the re-tubing process. The robot is inserted through a lattice sleeve tube in the shielding wall of the reactor after the fuelling and pressure tubes have been removed. The Calandria Vessel Inspection (CVI) robot consists of a long two joints boom with a manipulator arm attached to its end. The robot is equipped with radiation-hard- ened camera system for visual inspection and guiding of the robot arm, a vacuum nozzle for removing of small shavings and dust-like debris, and a gripper for removing larger items – up to approximately 1 kg. The arm is fitted with an ultrasonic hardness tester. The arm is constructed of radiation hardened material and compon- ents. When in operation, the tool built-in shielding mitigates and essentially eliminates the “open channel of radiation” that is inher- ent when accessing the internal portions of the reactor. The arm comes with a modular end-effector that can be used to pick up small debris visually located during the inspection process. The robot enters the Calandria ves- sel through any of the fuel chan- nels. Servo-controlled boom exten- sion and roll combined with robot manipulator elbow rotation and front link extension allow the end- effector to reach any point within the Calandria vessel. The robot arm is controlled by a combination of electric and pneumatic actu- ators that incorporate force control and position feedback. The elbow joint is driven by a radiation hard- ened stepper motor. The forearm is extensible with a pneumatic cylin- der through a range of 400 mm. The position of this link is mon- itored with a custom magnetic encoder. The end-effector is com- prised of a pneumatic gripper and a vacuum nozzle. Smaller debris are removed by vacuuming; larger debris can be picked up with the gripper and dropped into a shield- ed flask mounted directly in front of the tube sheet. The boom is designed to provide radiation shielding during the operation of the robot system. ■ ROBOT ARM ROBOT ARM FOR INSPECTION FOR INSPECTION AND REPAIR OF AND REPAIR OF NUCLEAR NUCLEAR REACTORS REACTORS Schematic view of robot in operation When in operation, the tool built-in shielding mitigates and essentially eliminates the “open channel of radiation” that is inherent when accessing the internal portions of the reactor. Nuclear Plant Robots The user can listen, talk, see and be virtually seen.