October: Hot Robotics | News & Features

0

The University of Bristol is leading an initiative to make advanced robotics, drones and test spaces available for nuclear research with the launch of four ‘Hot Robotics’ facilities in the UK.

The goal of changing the game National Nuclear User Facility for Hot Robotics (NNUF-HR) is to make robotics and facilities easily accessible to researchers in academia and industry, in order to facilitate groundbreaking and impactful nuclear research.

Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the four NNUF-HR sites are managed by individual partners and are strategically dispersed across the UK. These include the Fenswood facility at the University of Bristol in Somerset; the RACE (Remote Applications in Challenging Environments) at the UKAEA (UK Atomic Energy Authority) in Culham in Oxfordshire, the RAICo One at the University of Manchester in Whitehaven and the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) Workington Facility in Cumbria .

Each facility provides technology and testing spaces, as well as technical support, which would otherwise be very difficult – or very expensive – to access. At the various sites, users can rent state-of-the-art equipment, including four-legged robots and unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), for use on site or at their own premises. They can also bring their own technology to test in different simulated and mock environments.

Bristol University Fenswood installation provides substantial space for the development of mobile robotic applications as enhanced tools for environmental surveying in the field. Its main capabilities focus on drones and mobile ground vehicles, and it offers 245 acres of space to test the deployment of drones and ground robots.

Professor Tom Scott, Academic Officer of NNUF-HR at the University of Bristol, said: “The aim of this initiative is to provide the UK nuclear research and development community with better equipment and facilities. As someone who has been in the business for many years, the fact that we now have these four fantastic facilities and a website where users can actually choose from a wide range of state-of-the-art equipment for rent, I would say that it is. he is truly a game changer for the industry.

“I am delighted that the Fenswood facility here in Bristol is now available to Hot Robotics users. The amount of land and air space we have available for test deployments is a fantastic resource to complement the wide range of robotic equipment and sensor systems on offer. ”

The Hot Robotics website (https://hotrobotics.co.uk/) represents another first of its kind for the industry, giving users the ability to view, book and learn more about the technology and facilities available at the four locations.

While the facilities are available for use by the entire UK nuclear energy R&D community, UK academic researchers can access equipment at NNUF facilities free of charge through the Access regime fund which organizes quarterly application rounds. However, researchers can apply for grants of up to £ 5,000 at any time.

The NNUF Management Group, made up of Professor Chris Grovenor from the University of Oxford, Professor Malcolm Joyce from Lancaster University and Professor Francis Livens from the University of Manchester, said:

“We are delighted to see the NNUF-funded Hot Robotics facilities come online, offering a wide range of innovative robotic equipment to serve key nuclear industry clusters across the country. We urge universities and industry to use these facilities, and we look forward to seeing researchers advance technologies to solve challenges in the nuclear sector. ”

Professor Barry Lennox, who heads the NNUF-HR facility at the University of Manchester, said: “The RAICo One facilities provide a unique environment where university researchers can work directly with engineers and operations staff at the University of Manchester. entire NDA and nuclear supply chain. , to ensure that the robotic systems they are developing respond to real industrial challenges and can exploit the direct path to industrial deployment that is being established ”.

Dr Darren Potter, Capabilities Manager (Plant Response) at the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) said: Large-scale science testing and deployments. The partnership will allow us to expand the NNL Robotics Center at the Workington facility in Cumbria, which is playing an active role in the UK’s leading nuclear research in this exciting field of study.

Professor Rob Buckingham, UKAEA RACE Facility Manager, said: “NNUF’s goal is to accelerate the development of capabilities and capabilities in the supply chain, from invention to operations to large scale, in robotics and intelligent machines. RACE’s NNUF-HR facility will bring end users and businesses together to help create a viable innovation pipeline. ”

More information

The national nuclear user facility for hot robotics is a partnership between the University of Bristol, RACE (Remote Applications in Challenging Environments) of the UKAEA (UK Atomic Energy Authority), the University of Manchester and the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL). NNUF-HR has four partners with facilities strategically dispersed across the UK:

University of Bristol – Fenswood Facility, Somerset
The University of Bristol’s Fenswood facility provides substantial space for the development of mobile robotic applications as enhanced tools for environmental surveying in the field. Its main capabilities focus on drones and mobile ground vehicles, and it offers 245 acres of space to test the deployment of drones and ground robots. The equipment and facilities are split between the new mezzanine kitchen / meeting space and the robotic barn. This space includes a hot-desking and a group meeting space.

UK Atomic Energy Authority – RACE Facility, Culham
RACE (Remote Applications in Challenging Environments) is the main NNUF-HR hub on the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s site in Oxfordshire. A wide range of static and mobile robots, mock-ups and sensors are housed here, with additional functionality provided by “hot” testing capabilities and portable solutions that allow equipment to be transported to user locations.

National Nuclear Laboratory – Workington Facility, Cumbria
The Workington facility in Cumbria offers representative mock-ups of the plant decommissioning cells, storage environments and replica configurations of the Sellafield site’s active demonstrators for laser cutting and downsizing and sorting and segregation, NNL provides 900 m2 flexible floor space for users to develop, test and demonstrate their robotic solutions on an industrial scale. Users will benefit from NNL’s management of the Sellafield-led Core Robotics and AI Program (C-RAI), as well as NNL’s experience in testing and deploying remote robotics and engineering solutions. for characterization and intervention in Sellafield factories.

The University of Manchester – RAICo, Whitehaven
The University of Manchester moves its NNUF-HR equipment to RAICo One in Whitehaven, Cumbria. RAICo One is a collaborative installation created as part of a partnership between the University of Manchester, UKAEA, NNL and Sellafield Ltd, which will allow university researchers to work directly with robotics experts from industry. The facility provides access to mock-ups and robotic equipment to enable researchers to meet the challenges of nuclear decommissioning. Available equipment includes a range of submersible vehicles and underwater manipulators, as well as a pond equipped with a Vicon underwater and abovewater positioning system, where aquatic systems can be tested. In addition, there is a wide range of sensors available including thermal imaging cameras, radiation detectors, and simulated radiation sources and detectors which are ideal for testing robot autonomy in radiation environments.

Funding for UK university researchers
NNUF has a fund available to UK university researchers to access equipment at NNUF facilities free of charge. Hot Robotics Facility Access Calls, also referred to as “application rounds”, will be conducted quarterly on an ongoing basis. Claims under £ 5,000 can be submitted at any time: Access calls | National Nuclear User Facility (ox.ac.uk)

The National Nuclear User Facility (NNUF) was launched when Her Majesty’s Government announced its nuclear industrial strategy in 2013. The goal of the NNUF is to provide the UK nuclear research and development community with better equipment and facilities. These NNUF facilities can be used by the entire UK nuclear energy R&D community. Find out more: nnuf.ac.uk


Source link

Share.

Leave A Reply