Author: Helen Bayram

As part of the RAIN project, the Remote Inspection Working Group (RIWG) has been developing a range of technologies to allow autonomous ground vehicles to characterise and monitor facilities that process and store waste from the nuclear industry. As part of this work, we have been developing a relationship with the UKAEA Waste Consignments team in Culham. In this relationship we have been working to understand the different requirements the UKAEA team have for autonomous systems in monitoring and managing temporarily stored waste, and helping them understand the technology currently under development in the RAIN consortium. As part of this process, UKAEA have allowed us to trial various robotic inspection systems in their low hazard drummed waste store in Culham.

Continue reading

HRI – Human Robot Interaction

HRI – Human Robot Interaction – is one of five key research themes within the RAIN Hub. This subject connects human beings with the mechanised tools that could allow us to work more safely and efficiently. The importance of HRI comes down to a simple concept; the kit can be as fancy as you like but it needs to be easy to use otherwise people won’t want to use it. As one of our underlying research themes, HRI underpins all of the research that is done as part of the three working groups. However, it has not been such a visible focus of our work as the Remote Handling, Remote Inspection and Safety Case challenge areas. External review of RAIN’s progress highlighted this as something to improve; so here we outline some of the recent work in HRI.

Continue reading

RAIN meets with industry

Our mission is to develop Robotics and AI solutions to industry-led challenge owners. Since even before the RAIN Hub formed, we have regularly engaged with the nuclear supply chain, operators and challenge owners to really inform our research.

Continue reading

European Robotics Forum 2020

Members of the RAIN team attended the 11th Annual European Robotics Forum (ERF) ‘Future Robotics – Unlocking Human Potential’ from 3-5th March this year. The event was held at The Trade Fair and Congress Centre of Malaga (FYCMA) and delivered through a series of presentations, workshops and an exhibition filled with technology from across Europe.

Continue reading

Createc and the RAIN team based at the Oxford Robotics Institute (ORI) joined forces to combine Createc’s radiation sensing capabilities with ORI’s mobile robot platforms. They were awarded funding from the RAIN Expansion scheme to do this work. The project was a great success, and has led to further funding and collaborative work. Paul Murcutt, from the ORI, summarises the work below.

Continue reading

Dr Inmo Jang’s Secondment to Japan

RAIN researcher Dr Inmo Jang has been seconded at the University of Tokyo (Prof Hajime Asama’s lab) as a JAEA/CLADS (Japan Atomic Energy Agency Collaborative Laboratories for Advanced Decommissioning Science) NEST (Nuclear Education, Skills and Technology) Fellow. Decommissioning the Primary containment Vessels (PCVs) at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants is an enormous technological challenge. Robots inside the PCVs can be used to remotely handle nuclear-contaminated objects. This secondment focused on providing efficient and practical telepresence to a human operator when controlling a robot remotely, within this unique environment.

Continue reading

Robotic systems could 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. Last week, Steve Walters and Steve Watts put together a workshop that gave participants a background in why radiation can be a problem, how to counter the effects of radiation, and how to calculate the damage that may be caused.

Continue reading

SLAM secondment in Japan

Rain researcher Dr Thomas Wright has recently undertaken a secondment at the Collaborative Laboratories for Advanced Decommissioning Sciences (CLADS) in Japan. This work forms part of an ongoing collaborations with the Japanese Atomic Energy Authority (JAEA) and University of Tokyo, formed by the University of Manchester and continued through the RAIN Hub.

Continue reading

  • 1
  • 2
  • 4