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Lessons learned from pit viper integration into Hanford tank farm reality

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4 Author(s)
Catalan, M. ; Pacific Northwest Nat. Lab., Richland, WA, USA ; Bailey, S. ; Alzheimer, J. ; Niebuhr, D.P.

Application of the as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) principle to many tasks across the Department of Energy (DOE) complex logically leads to the realization that remotely operated equipment is highly desirable. The Pit Viper is a tele-operated system intended for pit operations at the Hanford Site. Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components were used in an attempt to reduce integration hurdles and increase reliability. One key factor is that only a limited number of available, off-the-shelf robotic manipulator systems are available and all of them have some characteristics that present interfacing challenges. The state-of-the-art in remote technology is not as mature as many might hope. This paper describes the issues (and proposed improvements) that surfaced during the development and first deployment of the Pit Viper System. Important areas are contamination control, operator interface and operator training, adaptation of tools, and workspace interfaces. The Pit Viper, as is, provides significant improvement over the current baseline approaches.

Published in:

Robotics and Automation, 2002. Proceedings. ICRA '02. IEEE International Conference on  (Volume:4 )

Date of Conference:

2002