Robot door-opening tool

“Robots to the Rescue” (Technology Review, March 29, 2011):

Some experts also question how helpful robots would be after a nuclear plant disaster. Something as simple as a locked door could prevent a robot from doing its job.

Is it really that hard for a robot to open a door? I came up with this design for a robotic door opening tool:

It’s carried in a wagon behind the robot, then lifted and oriented like so:

It would be under remote control, of course, relayed by the robot to the human operator. I’m debating whether the mode of communication between the robot and the door opener would be radio, infrared, or cable. I’m leaning toward infrared.

But what if the door is locked? Hmm . . . have to design device to insert and turn keys. But is that impossible? It seems to me that these days, journalists can write anything about, say, time travel, and everybody nods. But suggest the ability of a robot to insert a key into a keyhole — why, that’s sheer fantasy!

The above article, incidently, continuously hammers the point that you need extreme radiation hardening for robot sensors to function in a high-radiation environment. I have my suspicions that the problem is exaggerated, but that’s deserving of another blog entry.

About engineerzero

Once and future engineer.
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