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Mobile autonomous robotic apparatus for radiologic characterization

United States Patent

5,936,240
August 10, 1999
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Savannah River National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer Website
A mobile robotic system that conducts radiological surveys to map alpha, beta, and gamma radiation on surfaces in relatively level open areas or areas containing obstacles such as stored containers or hallways, equipment, walls and support columns. The invention incorporates improved radiation monitoring methods using multiple scintillation detectors, the use of laser scanners for maneuvering in open areas, ultrasound pulse generators and receptors for collision avoidance in limited space areas or hallways, methods to trigger visible alarms when radiation is detected, and methods to transmit location data for real-time reporting and mapping of radiation locations on computer monitors at a host station. A multitude of high performance scintillation detectors detect radiation while the on-board system controls the direction and speed of the robot due to pre-programmed paths. The operators may revise the preselected movements of the robotic system by ethernet communications to remonitor areas of radiation or to avoid walls, columns, equipment, or containers. The robotic system is capable of floor survey speeds of from 1/2-inch per second up to about 30 inches per second, while the on-board processor collects, stores, and transmits information for real-time mapping of radiation intensity and the locations of the radiation for real-time display on computer monitors at a central command console.
Dudar; Aed M. (Dearborn, MI), Ward; Clyde R. (Aiken, SC), Jones; Joel D. (Aiken, SC), Mallet; William R. (Cowichan Bay, CA), Harpring; Larry J. (North Augusta, SC), Collins; Montenius X. (Blackville, SC), Anderson; Erin K. (Pleasanton, CA)
The United States of America as represented by the United States (Washington, DC)
08/ 790,923
January 29, 1997
DISCLOSURE The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC09-89-SR18035 between the U.S. Department of Energy and Westinghouse Savannah River Company.