Robot Strips It Back
 
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Robot Strips It Back

      4/25/2000

Robot Strips It Back

A new robotic device that safely strips paint from the hulls of ships without polluting the environment is based on NASA robotics technology. The system, which has received kudos from environmentalist and undersea explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau, could revolutionize paint removal in the shipping industry. Current sandblasting methods potentially can contaminate waters surrounding harbors.

Developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Pasadena, CA), the Robotics Engineering Consortium at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA) and UltraStrip Systems, Inc. (Stuart, FL) the new system consists of an automated robotic device that is magnetized to the ship, a set of high-pressure jet streams, and a controller that helps the robot navigate along the surface of the ship.

The water is filtered and then reused, while the paint residue is collected in a container and can then be disposed of safely. Using this method, no toxic dust or paint flakes are generated to pollute nearby areas or to be inhaled by system operators.

Previous stripping methods sandblasted paint from a Ship's hull, producing large amounts of toxic airborne dust and exposing workers, nearby communities and the environment to significant risks. The new method, which uses UltraStrip's patented Robotic M2000 hydroblasting technology, uses only water in the paint-removal process and produces dried paint chips and clean water. Since a powerful vacuum collects all water and paint, nothing can escape to pollute the environment.

More information: SpaceDaily


 


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