Past Webinars

All webinars have been recorded. You can find them on this playlist.

21st October 2021: Robot Vision

0:00 Radhika Nath (RACE UKAEA) on “Deep learning models for robotic grasping”
14:40 Luis A. Plana (The University of Manchester) on “A neuromorphic vision system on object recognition”
39:18 Q and A

16th September 2021: Createc – MW-CT – Mobile Weld Computed tomography

0:00 Etienne Hocquard (Createc)

30:50 John Crossley (Nuclear AMRC)

38:11 Summary

42:51 Q & A

9th September 2021: National Robotics Programmes and Infrastructure

RAIN & ORCA hosted a webinar on National Robotics Programmes and Infrastructure. This webinar described two important robotics initiatives that are being established in the UK, National Robotarium and RAICo.

00:00 Professor Yvan Petillot (Heriot Watt University) on National Robotarium

17:40 Professor Rob Buckingham (RACE, UKAEA) and Professor Barry Lenox (The University of Manchester) on Robotics and AI Collaboration (RAICo)

44:15 Summary, Q & A

22nd July 2021: The effects of radiation on robotics

Robotic systems can radically improve safety and efficiency in the nuclear industry, however, robots are not immune to damage from radiation. A thorough understanding of what causes this damage, and how to counter it, can drastically improve how we design robots to work in this hazardous environment.  Steve Walters and Steve Watts gave a one hour crash course on radiation effects in robotics:

00:00 Steve Walters (NNL) and Steve Watts (University of Manchester) on ‘The effects of radiation on robots’

45:58 Summary

48:08 Q&A

15th July 2021: New technologies of communication and control for the nuclear industry

00:00:00 ICON+ Enhanced wireless control and video for remote applications

00:25:26 Q&A

00:29:09 Digital twin-based Bilateral Teleautonomous System for Nuclear Remote Operation

00:42:28 Q&A

24th June 2021: Collision Avoidance 

00:00 Ozan Tokatli and Pragna Das, RACE UKAEA: Utilising Inverse Kinematics for Avoiding Collisions

23:40 Hanlin Niu, University of Manchester: Asynchronous Parallel Learning with Guidance Laws for collision avoidance in Unknown Environment

43:51 Joaquin Carrasco, University of Manchester: Discussion session

10th June 2021: Prometheus

00:00 Jameel Marafie and Puneet Chhabra from Headlight AI presenting and sharing some footage from recent field trials 

53:22 Simon Watson, University of Manchester, Q&A

Prometheus Project

22nd April 2021: Pipebots

00:00 Bruce Drinkwater, University of Bristol: ‘Ultrasonic and acoustic sensing for buried pipe inspection with swarms of robots’ –

50:07 Q&A

Abstract: This talk reviews the future possibilities for sensing using swarm robotics. The work has been performed as part of a large project called Pipebots in which other members of the team are also progressing the robots, navigation and communications for use in water and sewerage pipes.  The focus of this talk is on the acoustic and ultrasonic sensors that can detect blockages and damage, such as cracking or corrosion. Blockages are detected with relatively low frequencies, enabling wave propagation over tens of metres. These waves travel as guided waves within the pipe interior. As the robots approach the blockage, higher frequencies can be used to provide additional characterisation information. These waves can also be used to characterize the local environment, for example, determining pipe geometry or the presence of bends or junctions. Damage to the pipe wall is detected using significantly higher frequencies. These travel as guided waves within the pipewall and propagate over much shorter distances. To accurately detect damage the signals from a number of robots must be combined to increase the probability of detection. This same data can then be used to form an image allowing location and defects size to be extracted.  The use of a robot swarm involves many compromises. For example, more robots add cost but leads to better detection and more accurate characterization. This talk describes how an understanding of these compromises leads to an optimal approach to swarm robotic sensing in this application.

15th April 2021: Security and LongOps

00:00 Adebayo Bamitale, University of Warwick: ‘Resilient Machine Learning in Nuclear Applications: Research Challenges and Opportunities’

18:00 Pete Gillham, Rob Ellis, Ipek Caliskanelli, Rob Sharratt, Justin Thomas and Sam Wainwright, RACE UKAEA: ‘LongOps – Long Term Operations Using Long Reach Manipulators’ – For more information on the project please contact

Britain and Japan have signed a research and technology deployment collaboration to help automate nuclear decommissioning and aspects of fusion energy production.  A world-leading alliance, it will see new robotics and automation techniques applied to both fusion research and to decommissioning nuclear facilities in Japan and the UK. The £12M UK-Japanese robotics project, called “LongOps”, will support delivery of faster and safer decommissioning at TEPCO’s Fukushima Dai-ichi reactors in Japan and at Sellafield in the UK, using long-reach robotic arms

18th March 2021: On-board capabilities/considerations for mobile robots

00:00 – Bruno Lacerda, Oxford Robotics Institute: ‘Radiation-aware Mission Planning and Exploration underUncertainty’

21:18 – Mihai Bujanca, University of Manchester: ‘Towards Robust and Energy-Efficient Reconstruction and Understanding of Dynamic Scenes’

45:27 – Tilly Alton, Lancaster University: Discussion session

4th March 2021: Inspecting Awkward Spaces

00:00 – Matteo Russo, University of Nottingham: ‘Into the labyrinth: Snake-like robots and their nuclear applications’ – An overview of snake-like continuum robots, with elements of mechanical design, modelling, control, and sensing. The RAIN-Snake is reported as an example for nuclear applications, and open challenges are discussed to identify future research directions

21:19 – Nick Castledine, University of Leeds: ‘PIBAIR – Development of a 2” Pipe Inspection Robot’ – An update on the progress of the PIBAIR (Pipe In-Bore Articulate Inspection Robot) system development. This will cover in pipe mobility testing, the addition of collaborative robot modules and plans to integrate a radiation sensor into the system

39:31 – Sam White, University if Bristol: Discussion session

18th February 2021: Smart Radiation

Createc and ORI will showcase the Innovate UK project, Smart radiation for Intelligent Nuclear Robots, with a 1 hour presentation and video demonstration.  The presentation will demonstrate the development of a modular sensor package for robots, with an autonomous radiation management and decision making module mounted to a wheeled robot. The speakers will include Michael Friedman and Matt Mellor from Createc and Maurice Fallon and Benoit Casseau from Oxford Robotics Institute.

00:00 Maurice Fallon (Oxford) – Exploration of Unknown Places – DARPA SubT challenge

27:50 Matt Mellor (Createc) – Smart Radiation Mapping

46:40 Michael Friedman (Createc) – Live demo of autonomous radiation mapping

4th February 2021: Simulation before Deployment

00:00 Tom Wright, University of Manchester: ‘Simulation tools for exploration and characterisation of nuclear environments’

24:33 Angelo Ferrando, University of Manchester: Runtime Verification and ARIAC Competition

40:51 Angelo Ferrando, University of Manchester: Discussion session

10th December 2020: Legged Robotics session part 2

01:13 Dave Megson Smith, University of Bristol
Topic: Spot in Chernobyl
Title: Development and deployment of a gamma imaging system on a quadrupedal robot within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone’

22:58 Olivier Stasse, LAAS-CNRC
Topic: Industrial deployment of TALOS humanoid robot
Title: Motion generation for humanoid and complex robots: from Motion Planning to Whole body controller

48:50 Kunio Kojima / Dr. Yuta Kojio, University of Tokyo
Topic: The Jaxon 2/3 humanoid robot
Title: Hardware Design and Locomotion System of JAXON

3rd December 2020: D-RisQ

An overview of the A2I2 underwater tetherless unmanned vehicle project, Nick Tudor (CEO, D-RisQ)

Abstract: D-RisQ has been working with RAIN to develop a vehicle for underwater nuclear decommissioning.  The operation of the vehicle has to be shown to operate safely and hence the software, in which the vast majority of functionality resides, has to be highly assured.  This seminar presents an overview of the Autonomous, Underwater, Inspection and Intervention (A2I2) project and the formal verification techniques used to verify the safety monitoring software.

26th November 2020: Human-Robot Interaction

00:48 Joint Talk “Joint Industry & Academia HRI-Workshop on 28-1 Oct 2020 – Outcomes and Future Steps” of Bremner, Collins, Lopez, Scarfe, Smith, Tokatli and Herrmann.

16:55 Talk from Clive Tunley, Inspector for Nuclear Safety, Human-Factor Team of the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR)

37:00 Talk from Radhika Gudipati, the Shadow Robot Company: “Use Case for HRI for Industry & Academia Joint Research”

46:50 Brief Discussion “RAIN HRI Use-Case” and Forthcoming Sandpit Event

12th November 2020: Legged Robotics

01:09 Prof. Michael Mistry, University of Edinburgh, ‘Impedance Control for Robust Quadruped Locomotion’

26:48 Dr. Christian Gehring, CTO of ANYbotics, ‘Four-legged robots at work’

43:13 Dr. Simon Watson, University of Manchester, ‘Corin – a hexapod for non-planar motion research’

15th October 2020: NNUF Facilities

00:00 Kevin Warren: Dalton Cumbrian Facility (DCF)

16:00 Malcolm Joyce: Advanced Digital Radiometric Instrumentation for Applied Nuclear Activities (ADRIANA)

38:00 Tom Scott: National Nuclear User Facility for Hot Robotics (NNUF-HR)

24th September 2020: Remote Inspection Working Group

00:00 Nick Hawes: An overview of some of the developments made by the RAIN Remote Inspection Working Group over the last two years, and plans for future deployments of mobile autonomous inspection robots.

53:15 Live demonstration of a wheeled robot performing a remotely operated mock inspection mission, using technology jointly developed by the UKRI Robotics and AI hubs, under their new “digital tissue” initiative.

10th September 2020: Mobile Mapping

00:00 Milad Ramezani: An overview of CPU-based LiDAR-SLAM on mobile robot platforms

17:08 Stefan Leutenegger: Spatial AI for mobile robots

20th August 2020: Aquatic special, including a guest presentation from the NOC

9:30 Maaten Furlong, the National Oceanography Centre:Marine Autonomy Systems in Ocean Science: Developments, Operations and Integration

9:50 Ammar Al Mhdawi, University of Newcastle: Design and Development of Intelligent Tether System

10:10 Matthew Nancekievill, University of Manchester: Aquatic robotic research at The University of Manchester

13th August 2020: UKRAS ROS for Nuclear Sensing Workshop

This workshop focused on designing Robot Operating System (ROS) messages to better integrate radiation sensors onto robot platforms.

30th July 2020: Guest hosted by Rolls Royce

9:30 James Kell: Collaboration success between UoN & RR within aerospace in-field maintenance

10:00 Richard Mecrow: Spotlight on COBRA

9:30 Radhika Nath: Computer vision system for teleoperated gloveboxes

9:50 Ipek Caliskanelli and Matthew Goodliffe: CorteX: A software framework for interoperable, plug-and-play, distributed robotic systems-of-systems

10:10 Luigi Pangione: Condition monitoring system of the RAIN glovebox developed at RACE

16th July 2020: Pipe and in-bore robotics

9:30 Nick Castledine: Design of a 2″ Bore Pipe Inspection Robot for the Nuclear Industry

9:50 Tristan Tremethick: In-bore welding strategy for fusion power plants

10:10 Keelan Keogh: Laser Piglet a solution for in-bore pipe cleaning

9th July 2020: Guest takeover by Sellafield Ltd. Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Integrated Research Team (RAI-IRT)

09:30 Chris Ballard and JP Richardson, Use of robotics and artificial intelligence at Sellafield Ltd

09:40 Paul Mort, Areas for innovation

09:55 Phil Toomey, ROVs in the legacy ponds

10:10 Amanda Smith and Calvin Smye, UAV Inspections

10:25 Simon Watson, Collaborative Robotics Projects with Sellafield

25th June 2020: Guest takeover by the ORCA Hub

9:30 Jamie Blanche: Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) Radar for Non-Contact Asset Health Monitoring

9:50 Arnau Garriga Casanovas: Robot Deployable EMAT NDE Sensor

10:10 Osama Zaki: Self-Certification and Safety Compliance for Robotics Platforms

18th June 2020: More from RAIN HRI team

9:30 Peter Scarfe: Understanding sensorimotor optimisation of bimanual telerobotics

9:50 Inmo Jang: Towards minimum worries in nuclear tele-manipulation: Collision-free inverse kinematics

10:10 Alex Smith: User study in variable autonomy

11th June 2020: Hosted by the University of Oxford, focussing on legged robots within RAIN

9:30 Romeo Orsolino, Oxford Robotics Institute: Interactive Nonlinear Trajectory Re-Optimization for Walking Robots

9:50 Wei Cheah, The University of Manchester: Corin – a hexapod for non-planar motion research

10:10 Joseu Camacho, The University of Nottingham: From Parallel Kinematic Manipulators to an Advanced Walking Machine Centre

28th May 2020: Hosted by the RAIN Human Robot Interaction team

9:30 Guido Herrman: Introduction

9:40 Emily Collins: Considering ‘H’RI Challenges in Hazardous Environments

09:55 Ozan Tokatli: Teleoperated Gloveboxes

10:10 Erwin Lopez: Estimation and prediction of human behaviour using multi-modal physiological measurements and data-driven methods in human robot interaction

21st May 2020: Hosted by the University of Manchester, School of Social Sciences.

9:30 Başak Sarac̣-Lesavre: Decommissioning of Sellafield as a Collective Experiment

9:50 Petra Tjitske-Kalshoven: Preparing for a Future: Time to Think in Nuclear Decommissioning

10:10 Ian Tellam: Problematising Technological Adoption at Sellafield

14th May 2020

9:30 Yannick Verbelen, The University of Bristol: State of the Art for Robotics and Sensors for Nuclear Monitoring and Inspection

9:50 Tilly Alton, The University of Lancaster: Developing radiation detection instrumentation for ROS

10:10 Andy West, The University of Manchester: 2D Gamma Radiation Mapping with the TORONE Projects

7th May 2020: Hosted by the University of Sheffield.

9:30 Sandor Veres: Innovative approaches to HRI.

9:50 James Clarke: Reconfigurability through NLP.

10:10 Mohammed Hazim: System programming architectures

30th April 2020: Hosted by the University of Liverpool

9:30 Michael Fisher: What is Verification and Validation?

9:50 Rafael Cardoso: Integrating Verifiable Agents in ROS

10:10 Fabio Pappachini: Processing and Verification of Information Streams

23rd April 2020: Hosted by the University of Nottingham

9:30 Mingfeng Wang: A novel self-calibration algorithm for enhancing the machining capability of reconfigurable parallel kinematic manipulators

9:50 Matteo Russo: Continuum robot with self-propelled capability for the inspection of extreme environments

10:10 Nan Ma: Modelling and experimental validation of a compliant under-actuated parallel kinematic manipulator

2nd April 2020: Hosted by the University of Manchester

9:30 Keir Groves: Exploration and radiation mapping of unknown environments using radiation informed 3D navigation

9:50 Matthew Nancekievill: Active deployment of the University of Manchester’s tracked robotic platform at Dounreay, and a summary of our aquatic robotics research

10:10 Liam Brown: Reconfigurable robotic platform with advanced sensing for confined spaces

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