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Technology Factsheet

Fold Track

Category: Robotics > Dismantling and Retrieval > Wheeled/Tracked System
Reference # : Model No :

The only way in or out of most of the tanks is through foot-wide pipes in their roofs, so engineers at Hanford use this robotic dozer, which opens into a string of pieces that fit through the inlets. Once inside, Foldtrack reassembles a toy Transformer. The robot uses a 3000 psi water stream to blast at sludge from up to 20 ft. away. A remote driver directs the robot as it uses a dozer blade to push the waste toward a pump for transfer to safer, double-shelled tanks. Once its job is done, the $500,000 robot is sealed, forever, in the empty tank

TRL:Demonstration (7-8)
TRL2:Demonstration (7-8)
Tether: *
Waterproof: *
Payload: *
Reach: *
Manipulator: *




Operational Experience:Former contractor CH2M Hill Hanford Group attempted to remove the remainder of the waste from tank C-109, which had formed a hard layer at the bottom of the tank, with a new robot called a Foldtrack.

It ran on two tracks over the waste on the bottom of the tank and was equipped with nozzles to spray liquid to break up the waste and a blade to push the waste toward a pump where it could be removed.

However, one of the two tracks came off a couple of days after the robot began positioning the waste to be pumped out of the tank. Workers tried to operate the device using just one of its tracks, but that caused a hydraulic oil leak of 15 to 20 gallons inside the tank and work was halted.

Read more here: Fold Track Demo



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