Author: Helen Bayram

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Testing ANYmal at RACE

The RAIN team from Oxford Robotics Institute visited RACE to test out their ANYmal at the mobility benchmarking lanes. This is part of their work to test the reliability of different mobile robots. The terrain course, consisting of three ‘lanes’, was first developed by NIST, the U.S’s National Institute of Standards and Technology. The lanes provide a standard benchmark for all small/medium wheeled, tracked and legged robots.

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