Though robots have been developed since many decades, they are still not able to reasonably supplement humans in several tasks, such as assisting them in nuclear plants. This is no longer the case now, because now robots have been developed which have sufficient mobility, sensors, size and tooling to be effective in emergency situations. People in nuclear industry have now started to recognize the benefits of automated technologies and have started investing in such technologies.
Nuclear response robots are specially designed automated machines which are programmed to assist humans in safe functioning of nuclear power plants. Nuclear plants have several hazardous operations such as handling of radioactive material, disposing the used material and leakage detection in emergency situations. The robots are specifically designed to assist workers in such situations. Thus to manage radioactive materials, nuclear responsive robots are now being adopted in few countries. Nuclear response robot market is anticipated to grow at a steady pace by 2020.
The post Fukushima nuclear power plant incident in Japan has raised concerns about the safety of plants in cases of such disasters. Thus for safe handling of nuclear plants, technological development will consistently be an important issue. Nuclear response robot technology will be driven by the fact that, more nuclear plants are to be deployed in future and safety would be the prime priority in such installations. Recently Chiba Future Robotics developed a robot, which can roll on dangerous radioactively contaminated grounds where firemen cannot easily enter.
Nuclear Response Robot Market: Drivers and Restraints
Research and Development in the field of nuclear response robots is likely to increase owing to specific requirements of nuclear plants in coming future. There are some issues that need to be resolved for wide adoption of technology. Primarily the material availability may act as a restraint for technological development. The material must be of high quality that does not alter with the reach of gamma rays in order to bear the radiation exposure. Another major issue for the nuclear response robots market is the unreliable wireless communication in case of emergency situations.
Nuclear Response Robot Market: Segmentation
The nuclear response robots can be segmented based on their applications. These robots are equipped with different sensors and come in different sizes based on their application. A majority of these robots are tele-operated. These robots can assist humans in, operation & maintenance of industrial nuclear facilities and maintenance in nuclear reactors. They are of special use in areas where safety concerns related to humans are high, such as decommissioning & dismantling nuclear facilities and emergency intervention situations.
The global demand for nuclear response robots was very low until the recent accident in Fukushima power plant took place. At present no nuclear plant is in as insecure a state as Fukushima, but adoption of robots in nuclear plants around the world would reduce risks for plant workers. Now many nations which are investing in nuclear power plants have also started to invest in this technology. Especially countries like China, Japan, France and Russia are potential markets for nuclear response robots. The regional segmentation will be done as North America, Asia Pacific, Europe and Rest of the world (Row).
Nuclear Response Robot Market: Companies Mentioned in the Report
There are many major technological innovators investing in nuclear response robots. Key companies in this industry are Mitsubishi, Hitachi, Romotec, General Dynamics, iRobot, Thales Group, Boston Dynamics, ECA Robotics and Elbid Systems.
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