RACE shares robotics expertise

Building networks between research and industry is a fundamental principle of the RAIN Hub. Early meetings between RAIN and Rolls Royce (RR) explored ways in which RAIN could support the short and long-term objectives of RR. In addition to collaborative projects and robotic deployments, sharing the expertise that RACE has in both designing for robotics and the long-term integration of robotics into regular operations was identified as valuable to RR. To this end, a series of four workshops were held between RACE and (RR) over the summer.

Due to COVID, the sessions were held online. Richard Mecrow (RR) and Rob Skilton (RACE) identified four topics for discussion and coordinated the series of sessions.

Each 2-hr session comprised a 1-hour presentation by the RACE team, followed by an open discussion to allow the RR attendees to explore the presented topic more thoroughly and ask questions.

The topics covered were:
• Design and planning for remote service – Including experience gained by supporting the JET programme, covering an overview of remote maintenance including training and operator considerations along with case studies and lessons learned.

• Working with facility and component designers to ensure remote serviceability – Sharing experiences working on the European Spallation Source (ESS) project, including tips on working with component designers to ensure that their parts can be remotely handled and optimising facility layouts for robotic service.

• Bringing robotics and automation into high-consequence facilities – Expertise on developing a nuclear safety case which includes robots for inspection and/or maintenance including case study from ESS.

• The role of mock-ups and trials in de-risking robotic service – Sharing challenges and solutions in remote service from working on the ITER project, including development and risk reduction through trials and mock-ups.


Thanks to Richard Mecrow and Rob Skilton for setting up the sessions, and Justin Thomas, Gary Hermon, Dave Cooper, James Davies, Adrian Van Arkel, Chris Lamb, and Lipika Naidu for presenting. Naturally we’re grateful to all of the attendees at each session too!

We are currently investigating the option of hosting some of these sessions as part of the RAIN webinar series to allow sharing with a wider audience.

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