A Robot Dog Got a Job at Chernobyl

Robot Dog Got a Job at Chernobyl: inspecting the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe site in order to assess radioactivity. The data gathered by Spot will be used to build 3D radiation heat maps by researchers at the University of Bristol.

As a result of this expertise, improved robotic platforms for nuclear energy applications will be developed.

The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is still mostly a ghost town 34 years after the greatest nuclear accident in history was caused by a failed reactor systems test. The only occupants are scientists, stray dogs, and curious visitors. This is because of the high radiation levels in and around the Pripyat nuclear power facility in Ukraine.

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A new tenant has arrived: Boston Dynamic’s famed mechanical dog, Spot. In order to build a 3D map showing the dispersion of dangerous electromagnetic waves, the robot-pup is on a mission to monitor radiation levels.

A senior research associate at the University of Bristol’s School of Physics, David Megson Smith, describes Spot’s new duty as a method to investigate robotic systems in severe conditions in a YouTube video shot at the Chernobyl site.

As a result, his team will be able to create better robotic platforms and new sensors for autonomously surveying nuclear sites.

A Robot Dog Got a Job at Chernobyl
Unit 4 reactor burst in April 1986 after a failed safety test aiming to mimic a power loss was spotted wandering around the former site of the reactor. Watching this video, you can observe the New Safe Confinement sarcophagus being examined by the robot dog, which is designed to hold radioactive waste.

A team from the University of Bristol made its first trip into the exclusion zone around Chernobyl earlier this month. Radiation mapping surveys using drones were undertaken in April 2019 by a diverse team. According to a news release, this featured the first-ever unmanned aerial vehicle to map both gamma rays and neutrons.

After the tests, which covered the “Red Forest,” a four-mile radius around the nuclear facility, the researchers discovered previously undisclosed radioactive hotspots. These perilous locales are likely Spot’s employment.


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