Environmental Monitoring

INTRA Selects Wind River for Radioactive Cleanup Robot

April 21, 2010

The French group will use WindRiver's VxWorks in its rugged, real-time remote-controlled radioactive cleanup vehicles.

ALAMEDA, CA -- Wind River announced that the France-based Group of Robotic Intervention on Accidents (INTRA) has selected VxWorks for its new family of radioactive cleanup robots, called the ERASE, ERELT and EBENNE trucks. INTRA Groupe is part of a consortium comprised of Electricité de France (EDF), Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique (CEA) and AREVA.

The robots are equipped with cameras and radioactivity sensors, and are designed to assess and clear radioactive accidents. The External Reconnaissance, Assistance and Surveillance Robot (ERASE) is designed to inspect accident sites remotely. The ERASE can navigate rough terrain and be controlled from up to 10 kilometers away for up to ten hours. The Engin Benne, or EBENNE, is a dump truck equipped with cameras, lighting and a gamma detector to enable precise remote operation around the clock. The Teleoperated Relay Robot (ERELT) is fitted with a telescoping antenna and relays radio transmissions from the ERASE and EBENNE to a control desk, located a safe distance away. The robots are controlled by a wireless link that runs a highly robust, high-performance proprietary coding scheme developed in the 1990s and uses a band of 20 frequencies provided by the French Army to ensure they are available during an emergency.

The control units in the robots and in the control center run VxWorks on an Intel Pentium 4 processor. The system needs a response time of less than 100 ms for all the data and three channels of high-resolution video from the robot, including startup time, and the software must be highly deterministic to reliably handle all operations and give the operator real-time control. This is a tremendously difficult challenge for any operating system and a key requirement for the INTRA Groupe.

Pascal Izydorczyk, Technical Operations Attache at INTRA Groupe said, "The INTRA Groupe robots are designed to operate under the most hostile conditions possible. A real-time response is necessary from the equipment when lives may be in danger and every second counts. We selected VxWorks because of its rugged credentials in unmanned vehicles, under water and on Mars."

Jens Wiegand, general manager for Industrial Solutions at Wind River said, "Our customer projects often involve unforgiving environments, ruggedized systems and no room for delay. Wind River continues to develop VxWorks to meet these demands and, combined with Wind River's award-winning support, optimize development and debugging."

About Wind River
Wind River, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC), is a world leader in embedded and mobile software. Wind River has been pioneering computing inside embedded devices since 1981 and its technology is found in more than 500 million products. Wind River is headquartered in Alameda, CA, with offices in more than 15 countries.

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