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סימן רדיואקטיביSince the big tzunami disaster in Japan in 2011 that damaged the nuclear power plant if Fukushima, many have been trying to get inside the reactor’s strcture in order to estimate the damage. A Japanese team of researchers has developed an advanced new drone to scan the inside of the reactor without fear for human lives. The drone is completely autonomous thanks to laser sensors that are built on top of it and assist it in detecting and avoiding obstacles while up in the air. The six propellers with which it flies around the room carry the platform that holds a special camera which turns input into 3D images in real-time, which helps it avoids possible dangers. The autonomous drone also carries a device to measure radioactive radiation and a canister to store dust for lab researchers. The independence of the drone isn’t just in that it can navigate itself with no human direction, but that it can also, if the need arises, land and change battery on its own.

The research team, working under Chiba University, has recently conducted an experiment in which the drone was flown and tested inside undamaged buildings near that are connected to the reactor. Even though the drone isn’t yet ready to take on expeditions inside the most badly damaged structures, researchers are convinced their invention will play a significant part in treating the damaged powerplant.

It should be noted that the Japanese aren’t the only ones working on developing new and advanced technological platforms that can contribute to the rehabilitation of the damaged area. It was recently that the american Defence Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) announced the winner for the autonomous robots worldwide contest. This contest was formulated as a response to the unique need created by the damage of the Japanese nuclear power plant in 2011. It seems that need is, indeed, the father of invention – not only in Japan, but as a worldwide effort.