JRM Vol.28 No.2 pp. 129-137
doi: 10.20965/jrm.2016.p0129


Rail Structure Supporting Mechanism Using Foamable Resin for Pillar Expansion, Anchoring, and Fixation

Rui Fukui*, Kenta Kawae**, Yuta Kato*, and Masayuki Nakao*

*Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan

**Department of Human and Engineered Environmental Studies, School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo
5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa-shi, Chiba 277-8563, Japan

September 28, 2015
February 5, 2016
April 20, 2016
hazardous environment, resin foam, unmanned construction, rail structure, modular robots

Rail Structure Supporting Mechanism Using Foamable Resin for Pillar Expansion, Anchoring, and Fixation

Rail structure supporting mechanism

Human workforce working at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant face severe health and safety risks owing to the presence of radioactive obstacles and debris caused by the accident and the subsequent shutdown of the plant. Under such circumstances, various robots are deployed to undertake many tasks, however, it is not easy for robots to realize smooth locomotion and efficient operation because radioactive debris and architectural structures such as steps and doors tend to hinder their movement. In addition, installable sensors and actuators are restricted in such an environment. To overcome these difficulties, we propose an automated construction system with modularized rail structure for robot locomotion and operation. The structure is anchored to walls or floors and enables working robots to reach a specific destination. This paper describes the development of a rail structure supporting mechanism. The developed mechanism applies resin foam to three different components: the actuator, adhesive material, and structural material. To our knowledge, these multi-modal applications of resin foam are quite unique and novel. Basic experiments were conducted using the developed prototype. Experimental results verified the feasibility of pillar expansion, anchoring, and fixation motions, and they also revealed the impact of the components’ properties on the performance of the supports.

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Last updated on Sep. 20, 2017