Ground robots

Anymal

ANYmal is a quadrupedal robot designed for autonomous operation in challenging environments. For our ANYmal platform we are developing the sensor integration and foot-placement. We will also investigate the development of a belly-crawl type of motion with the addition of rollers/wheels under the main body of the robot (note that this assumes relatively smooth/flat environment).

CORIN

Mobile Hexapod for Remote Inspection and Object Manipulation

Development of hexapod capable of moving autonomously within a hazardous environment for remote inspection and object manipulation. The primary motivation for this work is to build and equip a hexapod with suitable hardware tools and software algorithms that would enable it to assist or carry out decommissioning task.

Work packages include developing a hexapod robot with object manipulation capabilities, high payload, dynamic and static stability capabilities for manoeuvring within the environment.

Mini-RoboMach

The Mini-RoboMach is configured as a “walking and snaking” system, capable of performing holistic in-situ multi-task operations in challenging environments. A wide set of in-situ tasks can be achieved by each constitutive unit independently, or the system can be used as a single combined unit for even more complex tasks. It consists of two robots that are able to achieve unique in-situ tasks:

a) The WalkingHex, a 24 DoFs parallel kinematic configuration, is utilised for providing both walking and 6-axis movement of the end-effector for performing in-situ operations over large workspace volumes;

b) The SCArm, with its 25 DoFs, enables “snaking-in” capability for penetration into dense structures and the use of its last 6 DoFs to manipulate end-effectors for post-production operations in confined workspaces.

As a combined system, the WalkingHex (i.e. the body) can execute a variety of the in-situ tasks on the base surface (ground) of the working environment and also act as a carrier for delivering the SCArm to desired locations, thus enabling the completion of in-situ works in otherwise unreachable positions in hazardous zones.

TARM

TARM team complete latest stage of major remote handling refurb

A multi-million project to give RACE the capability to start testing the remote handling technologies for the future DEMO fusion reactor has now reached a key milestone.

This follows the completion of the first stage refurbishment of the Telescopic Articulated Remote Mast (TARM) – a huge remote handling system – which after being used to perform ex-vessel maintenance on JET is now set for a new lease of life at RACE. The TARM was raised into position in the RACE work hall in March, ready for the next phase of commissioning.

As an important part of its Roadmap to Fusion Electricity, EUROfusion is now conducting an initial conceptual design study of a Demonstration Fusion Power Plant (DEMO), a reactor design capable of demonstrating net production of electricity and operation with a closed fuel-cycle and to be the single step between the International Thermal Experimental Reactor (ITER) and a commercial reactor.

CARMA 2

Continuous Automated Radiation Monitoring Assistance

CARMA 2 is the next generation in the research CARMA platform series of autonomous monitoring robotic systems designed for the nuclear industry. Primarily envisioned to continuously inspect a map of the ground for radioactive contamination from fixed or migrating sources.

CARMA 2 uses the lastest robust robotic platform, integrating the Clearpath Jackal combined with a series of off-the-shelf components. The on-board 3D mapping uses ROS architecture, in combination with 2x 20m LIDARs, 2x 3D orbbec cameras and 2x industrial standard radiometric sensors (Thermo Fisher Scientific DP6). By using these industry standard sensors the end-user can be confident in the CARMA 2-generated radiometric maps.

FURO

Radiological Charterisation of Pipework and Ducting

The Sellafield site has miles of pipework in old facilities that are in need of disposal. For this to be done properly the pipework needs to be surveyed to determine if any radiation is left inside the pipes. This is a disposable pipe-crawling robot that is able to semi-autonomously navigate through pipework and ducting mapping radiation as it moves. Pipework and ducting of unknown shape and size, containing post cleanout residue of nuclear material. Limited to a 50mm Diameter. Two prototype designs are being developed for a 150mm pipe using plastic 3D printed technology and laser cutting.

MIRRAX

Mini Robot for Restricted Access eXploration

This platform is capable of entering hazardous environments through restricted access ports with a maximum diameter of 150mm (6”). The robot is an innovative new design which combines omnidirectional drive wheels with a reconfigurable footprint to enable the platform to manoeuver through a difficult environments.

The final concept design of the MIRRIX came out of the requirement of carry mid-size sensors (e.g. LIDARs) and having enough battery charge to conduct at least 1 hour of surveying through the restricted access ports. These two factors require the robotic platform to be long and narrow in design, like a snake, and uses custom design omni-directional Mecanum wheels to allow for unique holonomic locomotion. The addition of 2 joints within the length of the robot allow it to be reconfigured in different stable profiles.

Key Features:
  • Reconfigures to fit in 150mm entry port
  • 3D Laser scanning of difficult to reach locations
  • Easy user interface
  • 1 hour battery duration
  • Capable of gamma radiation measuring
  • Camera for remote operating