Outreach activities

An important element of the RAIN Hub’s work is our mission to communicate the challenges faced by the nuclear industry, and our robotic and AI solutions, to the general public. To facilitate this, we have developed some outreach games. These have been designed with two of our working groups in mind; remote handling and remote inspection.

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Three new academic research partners in RAIN

We have added three new institutions to the RAIN Hub. They are tasked with carrying out projects that are complimentary to work already ongoing in the hub, in areas we wanted to draw in additional expertise. It is great to welcome them to the team!

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Formal methods in Autonomous Systems Workshop

Dr Matt Luckcuck and Prof. Michael Fisher, in collaboration with Dr Marie Farrell from the FAIR-SPACE Hub, organised an academic workshop on the robust verification and validation of autonomous systems. The workshop, entitled ‘Formal Methods for Autonomous Systems’ (FMAS) was held on the 11th of October at the Third World Congress on Formal Methods, in Porto.

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Remote Inspection Working Group at Bristol

The Remote Inspection Working group is working on both characterisation and long term monitoring and change detection of spaces in the nuclear industry. In August, they tested some new kit at the University of Bristol’s Fenswood Farm facility.

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Many RAIN researchers were at the Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems (TAROS) Conference held in London in July this year. The conference was held at the newly built Mile End campus of the Queen Mary University of London. Many interesting papers were presented, including by RAIN researchers from Oxford Robotics Institute (ORI) and the University of Manchester. Delegates this year particularly enjoyed an excellent set of keynote talks delivered from leading researchers from industry and academia, covering topics including machine learning, robotic manipulation and an overview of robotics at Google DeepMind.

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RAIN Demonstration day

In the RAIN Hub we want to work actively with industry and end users. We are working in a different way to standard academic research projects, aiming to really understand the challenges faced by the nuclear industry. Our three working groups were formed to aid this process: Remote Handling, Remote Inspection and Safety Case. In March this year, we invited our network of industry contacts to a demonstration day in Manchester. We had over 20 pieces of technology on display, including various robotic platforms, sensor technology, and using virtual reality for control.

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The Royal Academy of Engineering has announced their highly prestigious Chairs in Emerging Technologies. This funding champions disruptive innovations, providing long term support for research that has a potentially huge economic and social benefit. Two of the 9 awards have gone to RAIN researchers. Professors Barry Lennox and Michael Fisher were both awarded funding to support their research programmes. The funding lasts for ten years and will enable them to progress their research through to deployment and commercialisation stages.

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