Dexter, Our Propriety Remote Manipulator System

Dexter is a Veolia Nuclear Solutions remote manipulator system developed from the Mascot system used by the Joint European Torus (JET) facility for over 20 years. It is similar to a standard Master-Slave Manipulator (MSM) in that it provides high degrees of dexterity and instantaneous force feedback. However, instead of a mechanical linkage the system works through a high-fidelity control loop.

 

A touch-sensitive remote manipulator system

The human operator performs tasks with the master manipulator, which the slave replicates exactly, in real time, in the remote location. The slave can be positioned up to 8km from the master because there’s no mechanical connection between the two - just cables for power and data. 

It’s powerful, dextrous and sensitive enough that an operator can:

Manoeuvre objects from 10kgs (one arm) to 100kgs (two arms with crane attachment)

Dispense one drop at a time from a standard pipette

Detect the different textures of surrounding surfaces.

Specifically designed to replicate human arms

The human operator can prepare for tasks and carry them out almost exactly as if they were intervening in the environment directly. Almost exactly, because the operator’s capabilities are enhanced by Dexter’s power, adaptability.
 

Dexter makes complex work simpler

Dexter can operate hand tools that a human can, and over 2,000 tools have been adapted for the manipulator, making it possible to deal effectively with the unexpected in a remote environment. Dexter allows operators to do more than they could unaided, for example with measures that reduce fatigue and increase sensitivity.
From its adjustable force-scaling to its ergonomic seated or standing operating positions, Dexter has been designed to make complex remote handling work simpler.

 

Dexter in action

Investigate after reactor core meltdown

Client: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Project objective: To investigate the site status after Fukushima reactor core meltdown

Operators use Dexter to support the main robotic investigation boom:

Change inspection equipment on the boom that enters the reactor

Post equipment into and out of the container where the boom is housed

Operate tools inside the boom container

Retrieve and repackage underground waste

Client: Canadian Nuclear Laboratories
Project objective: To retrieve and repackage legacy waste stored underground in a variety of systems.

Operators use Dexter to sort, characterise and package waste. Dexter effectively replaces a human in the hazardous environment, carrying out almost any activity a human could do.

Dexter was chosen because the two arms enable operators to:

Separate tangled piles of mixed waste

Open sealed containers

Reach a wide range of spaces and retrieve items both large and small

Manipulate waste and sort it effectively to reduce the volume of the final package

Deal with unknown and unexpected items

 

 Carry out repairs to itself and other remote handling hardware in the same environment

​Dexter Solution Key Benefits:

Risk reduction and complex task simplification in high hazard environment

Ability to deal safely with the unexpected by having a “human in the loop”

Improved operational efficiency through increased asset utilization

Simplification of glovebox and protection systems

Up-skilling of workforce

The breadth and depth of Veolia’s experience on challenging remote handling projects is unmatched across multiple industries. The effective delivery of our solutions have been used on some of the most publicized, mission critical projects worldwide such as those at Fukushima, Hanford and Sellafield.