Demonstration & Testing

It is a priority of the RAIN Hub to regularly demonstrate our technology to relevant stakeholders.

We aim to demonstrate the capabilities of the robotic technologies developed within RAIN in realistic environments to organisations within the nuclear industry, this is a key indicator of our success. In order to support this engagement we have set up a number of demonstration facilities across the UK, in areas including Cumbria, Oxford and Bristol. This allows our technology to be demonstrated locally to the UK’s nuclear communities. Currently our facilities include:

  • The University of Manchester’s Robotics for Extreme Environments Laboratory (REEL), in Cumbria

  • The University of Bristol’s Fenswood Farm facility, close to Bristol

  • RACE, Oxfordshire, has extensive demonstration facilities including drum storage facilities and NIST lanes. 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

  • The University of Nottingham’s Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre in Manufacturing Technology

RAIN Demonstration Day

Delivering Change Through Robotics At Sellafield

Demonstration Days

 

In addition to technology specific demonstrations, we host regular demonstration days in which we collate a range of the technology bring developed across RAIN and invite industry to see this and give feedback.

To date we have hosted two demonstration days showcasing research across RAIN. To find out more about these days please see the links below.

You can read more about recent demonstrations on our news page, or click on the links below.

Testing ANYmal at mobility benchmarking lanes

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. 

Remote Inspection Working Group testing at Bristol Fenswood facility

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.

Kuka glovebox remote handling demonstration

The latest exciting industry-relevant remote handling demonstration from RACE includes two collaborative Kuka robot arms and Robotiq grippers. The newest iteration of the system allows for the robot arms and grippers to be moved and controlled via a pair of custom-built gloves, while a VR headset allows the user to track movements in digital space.

Trials in Japan

In October 2018, a team from the University of Bristol ventured to Japan. This was led by RAIN researchers Professor Tom Scott and Dr Yannick Verbelen, with Dr Chris Hutson and PhD student Dean Connor.

Inspecting the ‘Unknown Room’

We recently saw the first culmination of a joint RAIN demonstrator project with the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) and the Universities of Manchester and Bristol. 

Raman sensors on a submersible platform

RAIN researchers, from the Universities of Bristol and Manchester, have been working together to develop a new submersible remote inspection platform.

Technology Development Stages

The RAIN Hub is different to traditional research projects that work at Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 1-3. Researchers are developing technology all the way through from TRL 3 up to 7/8, and seeking deployments to enable that. The CARMA platform is an example of how we can successfully work with industry. These are the stages that we have gone through from initial concept to trials in active environments.