Power manipulator for wall installation

The A4000 is employed in Dounreay.

Details on the execution of the A4000:


30 kg

Arm length

3.5 m

Degrees of Freedom

6 robot axis

Input system

Control panel and computer-assisted

Special features

  • in operation since 2016
  • installation in a radiation protection wall
  • installation through a ceiling opening
  • robotics function
  • programmable controller
  • "GoTo"-Mode: teach and repeat control

Project overview

Dounreay Site Restoration Limited DSRL is presently contracted to decommission the Dounreay Nuclear Site. As part of this decommissioning process the nuclear facilities are being safely disassembled. Much of the hazardous decommissioning will be carried out using remote handling equipment.

DSRL has a requirement for remote handling equipment that is capable of working at a greater reach than presently achievable with a standard Master Slave Manipulator (MSM). Additionally it must have improved dextrous movements to operate within the confines of nuclear cell work areas.

The remote handling equipment technology is expected to be utilised on similar decommissioning projects elsewhere on the Dounreay Site.

Technical data of the A4000

The electrical manipulator A4000 is a manipulator for the remote handling of components, for handling of tools for working on components, for dismantling, maintenance and repair tasks, as well as for the transport of loads within confined and inaccessible spaces. As the designated use includes works on radioactive components, all parts of the manipulator are resistant to radiation.

The manipulator suits to a horizontal installation in a shielding wall in a 300 mm through-wall liner. The manipulator is also suitable for a vertical installation trough a ceiling orifice.

  • rotation axis 1: ± 190°
  • rotation shoulder joint/ upper arm pivot: ± 110°
  • rotation elbow joint/ lower arm pivot: ± 120°
  • rotation lower arm: unlimited
  • rotation wrist joint: + 90° / - 155°
  • rotation gripper: unlimited
  • gripper opening width: 100 mm

Control System

The Power Manipulator Arm is controlled by a programmable control system. The control programs are stored on two computer modules:

  • one industrial PC in the electrical cabinet
  • one computer in the casing of the screen

The computer modules are linked by an Ethernet network. Indication and selection of various operating modes of the control system are carried out via a graphic user interface (GUI) on the touch panel screen. The movements of the manipulator are driven by position-controlled three-phase motors with rotation angle measurement by absolute value encoders.


Details on the controls can be found here: Input systems (HMI) >

Find out more about the Power Manipulator >

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