Segment-Handling Robot awarded the Good Design Award

A segment-handling robot developed in Japan for the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) has received the 2016 Good Design Award. The robot is a key technology in the world’s first Segment Handling System (SHS), designed to safely and efficiently replace numerous segment mirrors for the next generation extremely large telescope to maintain perfectly reflective mirrors.

In recognition of its originality, creativity and advanced technological capability, the Segment-Handling Robot was selected as one of 100 Good Design Best Award winners out of 4,085 entries screened in 2016. TMT’s segment-handling robot also received the Good Design Special ("Design for the Future") Award, given to particularly outstanding designs that are anticipated to become a foundation for the coming future and society. Key technologies that highlight the Segment-Handling Robot are introduced in a movie presented by Mitsubishi Electric.

Hosted by the Japan Institute for Design Promotion, the Good Design Awards (GDA) recognize stellar designs that enrich our lives and society. In a press conference held on Oct. 31, 2016, the screening committee explained that, in addition to the functional beauty grounded in its unique design, the Segment-Handling Robot was highly praised for its underlying purpose. "We would like to support the realization of a magnificent dream in natural science to observe the first star in the Universe with an extremely large telescope," the committee leader added.

1:20 scale model of the Segment Handling System (SHS) displayed at the Good Design Exhibition held on Oct.28-Nov.3 in Tokyo.

1:20 scale model of the Segment-Handling Robot. The six-arm drive mechanism as well as the checkered flag pattern of the vision sensor is finely reproduced.