Events

Past events

Scoping Certifiable Autonomous Nuclear Robotics

12th April 2019, Manchester

Registration is required but attendance is free. Full details and registration information can be found on the website.

This workshop will explore the challenges of certifying nuclear robotic systems. Groups of attendees will examine realistic nuclear robotic case studies, discussing how the introduction of autonomy, machine learning, or long-term use will impact the verification techniques and evidence required for certification. Representatives from the Office for Nuclear Regulation will be at the workshop to provide their feedback certification for robotics with higher levels of autonomy.

Each discussion group will tackle one case study, considering in-depth the current challenges to certification and the future challenges as we introduce higher levels of autonomy. Attendees will have the opportunity to select one case study for the discussion sessions, and descriptions of the case studies will be available before the workshop.

Attendees are welcome from industry, academia, or government; with an interest in robotics, autonomy, AI, safety, assurance, and certification; and particularly those involved in EPSRC/ISCF activities such as the RAIN Hub, the NCNR Hub, the Robotics for Nuclear Environments programme, and the Assuring Autonomy International Programme. All attendees should be prepared to participate fully in the discussion.

Output of the discussion sessions that is of particular interest include:

  • common barriers to introducing higher levels of autonomy,
  • techniques for the verification of autonomy,
  • observations about current safety documentation practice, and
  • areas for collaborative work in the future.

The key points from the discussion sessions will be collated and distributed to the attendees after the workshop.

Programme

Overview: After a brief introduction, the 'owners' of robotic case study will give an overview of the robotic system and the task it performs-- highlighting and unusual hazards or challenges. Representatives from the ONR will give a broad overview of the key points of nuclear certification.

Discussion Session 1: Current Hazards

The first group discussion session; each discussion group will consider the certification of the current case study (before introducing any autonomous challenges). Each group will consider:

  • the key hazards that a safety case for that system must account for
  • how to mitigate these hazards
  • what evidence can be provided for these mitigating factors, and;
  • how we might constrain the system's environment to improve or ease its safety.

At the end of this discussion session, each group will have the opportunity to feedback key points of their discussion to the other groups.

Discussion Session 2: Future Hazards

The second discussion session; each discussion group will consider the certification of the case study if we introduce challenges posed by autonomy. Each group will consider the points from Discussion Session 1, but with their case study extended to include:

  • higher levels of autonomy,
  • long-term autonomous systems,
  • disposal or recovery at the robot's end-of-life, and;
  • adaptive or machine learning components.

Again, at the end of this discussion session, each group will have the opportunity to feedback key points of their discussion to the other groups.

Summary and Close

To close the workshop, we will provide an initial overview of the key points from the discussion sessions and representatives from the ONR will provide initial feedback on their view of the discussions.

Case Study Owners

  • Sally Forbes, UK Atomic Energy Authority
  • Howard Chapman, National Nuclear Laboratory
  • Andy Melia, Sellafield Ltd
  • Andrew Wallwork, Atomic Weapons Establishment

Organisers

Michael Fisher & Matt Luckcuck-- University of Liverpool, RAIN Hub

RAIN Hub Demonstration and Working Groups Day

26th March 2019, Manchester

We invite you to Manchester for an update on the progress of the RAIN Hub. There will be a range of technical demonstrations, updates on the progress of the working groups, and the working group Grand Challenges. During the afternoon we will be welcoming input and feedback from you, to help us keep moving our research in the right direction. 

Registration is free via our eventbrite and open to anyone from industry, academia, or government, with an interest in robotics, autonomy, AI, and safety.

Future of Nuclear Robotics Safety Cases

11th of September 2018, Manchester

Organised by the Universities of Liverpool and York, with the Office for Nuclear Regulation, this workshop introduces the current certification processes, highlights some of the issues as we move towards more sophisticated Robotics and AI solutions, and discusses the way forward.

We will have talks by representatives from the Universities of Liverpool and York, and the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).

Registration is free via our eventbrite and open to anyone from industry, academia, or government, with an interest in robotics, autonomy, AI, safety, assurance, and certification, and specifically those involved in EPSRC/ISCF activities such as the RAIN Hub, the NCNR Hub, or the Robotics for Nuclear Environments and Assuring Autonomy programmes

International Robotics Showcase

June 21st 2018
Liverpool, UK

As part of the international business festival, there will be an international robotics showcase. We will be present with some of our robotics platforms. Come and say hello!

This also raises some fundamental questions: while the robots are ready to share control, what is the optimal trade-off between autonomy and control that we are comfortable with? Domains where this debate is relevant include self-driving cars, offshore asset inspection and maintenance, deep sea and autonomous mining, shared manufacturing, exoskeletons/prosthetics for rehabilitation as well as smart cities to list a few.

More info

Public lecture

Shared Autonomy - The Future of Interactive Robotics

June 18th 2018
Victoria Gallery & Museum
Ashton Street
Liverpool
L69 3DR

The next generation of robots are going to work much more closely with humans, other robots and interact significantly with the environment around it. As a result, the key paradigms are shifting from isolated decision making systems to one that involves shared control -- with significant autonomy devolved to the robot platform; and end-users in the loop making only high level decisions. This talk will introduce powerful machine learning technologies ranging from robust multi-modal sensing, shared representations, scalable real-time learning and adaptation and optimal scheduling of compliant actuation that are enabling us to reap the benefits of increased autonomy while still feeling securely in control.

This also raises some fundamental questions: while the robots are ready to share control, what is the optimal trade-off between autonomy and control that we are comfortable with? Domains where this debate is relevant include self-driving cars, offshore asset inspection and maintenance, deep sea and autonomous mining, shared manufacturing, exoskeletons/prosthetics for rehabilitation as well as smart cities to list a few.

More info

June 2018 User Group Events

Upcoming are 2 user focused events: explaining the relevant ongoing research at RAIN, and aiming to better understand the key priorities for the near future within the nuclear industry.

 

June 5th 2018: Remote Handling

Location: Nuclear AMRC, Rotherham

For SME’s and end users interested in remote handling

 

June 8th 2018: Remote Inspection

Location: RACE, Abingdon

For SME’s and end users interested in remote inspection

Pint of Science

Simon Watson will present within “Robot Revolution” evening May 14th 2018. Are Robots just Spanners or Evil Overlords in Waiting?

href="https://pintofscience.co.uk/event/robot-revolution" target="_blank">https://pintofscience.co.uk/event/robot-revolution

 

Are we going to wake up in 10 years’ time and find that we now have a supreme robot overlord or are the robots of the future just going to be tools that help make our lives better? Khris Kababbe will present within the “Extreme Engineering” evening May 15th. Drones in a Dirty, Dull and Dangerous world.

https://pintofscience.co.uk/event/extreme-engineering

Autonomous robots are destined for Dirty, Dull, and Dangerous missions. But what about the humans that have to operate these on site? Khris Kabbabe will talk about operating Drones in Dirty (Landfil sites), Dull (offshore renewable energy), and Dangerous (Volcanoes and Rain Forest) places, and why drones are essential to our understanding of these environments.