Remote Inspection

The Remote inspection working group corresponds with research themes 1 & 2

Working Group Lead - Nick Hawes

Theme 1: Mobility, Inspection and Operations - Ioannis Havoutis

Theme 2: Reusability and Robustness - Joaquin Carrasco

The working group builds upon the research going on across the institutions within the hub and finds industrial challenges that could be solved by applying this knowledge. The Remote Inspection Working Group (RIWG) is particularly developing tools for both characterisation and long-term monitoring of nuclear environments.

Research Challenges Theme 1:

  • 1

    Improved dynamic mobility is essential to allow legged vehicles to cross rough terrain, climb ladders etc. This requires responsive re-planning of high dimensional robot systems and current approaches struggle to marry the uncertainty of real world sensing, with the limits of high frequency feedback control
  • 2

    Robust situational awareness in low-light conditions and poor visibility. This requires the fusion of inertial, LIDAR, vision, radiation sensing and other measurements to achieve reliable and accurate navigation
  • 3

    Autonomous navigation algorithms should effectively pair with human operators. Map representations communicated to human operators should be labelled with estimates of physical properties (radiation, temperature) as well as geometric structure. Reconstructions should support change detection on a semantic level to identify subsidence and fissure.

Research Challenges Theme 2:

  • 1

    To achieve high reliability, failure modes in high gamma and neutron environments must be quantified
  • 2

    Improved rad-tolerance needs to be developed through software, low-level hardware redundancy, electronic reconfigurability and by dynamic assessment of balance between on-board and off-board system
  • 3

    Extreme environments demand high levels of mechanical system reliability. Approaches will detect and compensate for failures using redundancy and fault tolerant control systems
  • 4

    Where power is limited, minimally actuated robotic systems are necessary, with reduced electronics and power scavenging