As part of the agreement with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Energid has developed a next-generation robot prototype for inspecting nuclear power plants. The robot is specifically designed to inspect the heat exchanger and steam tubing systems in the nuclear plants.
Neil Tardella, Chief Operating officer of Energid Technologies, claimed that the robot was far more reliable and faster when compared with conventional robots. The robots proved to be useful in inspection operations post the March earthquake in Japan. Tardella is of the opinion that Energid has been chosen by Mitsubishi based on their project work with NASA. Energid is working on the K10 Rover robot project, which is designed for space missions for lunar and planetary explorations.
The robot model that Energid has designed for Mitsubishi is capable of inspecting the stream-generator tubing in a nuclear plant. Tardella explained that by using robots, human exposure to radiation can be minimized. He added that traditional inspection robots require the nuclear plant to go off-line during inspection, resulting in monetary loss. He added that the main customers with Mitsubishi were nuclear plants. Many companies had deployed their robots in the rescue operations after the earthquake in Japan. Some of the companies, which deployed their robots, were iRobot and the Qinetiq Group. These companies provided robots for surveillance missions and for heavy construction purposes in order to make sure that the workers were kept at a safe distance from the reactors.