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Reference Number EP/R02572X/1
Title National Centre for Nuclear Robotics (NCNR)
Status Started
Energy Categories NUCLEAR FISSION and FUSION(Nuclear Fission, Nuclear supporting technologies) 100%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Computer Science and Informatics) 30%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 10%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 60%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr R Stolkin
No email address given
School of Mechanical Engineering
University of Birmingham
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 02 October 2017
End Date 01 April 2022
Duration 54 months
Total Grant Value £12,256,862
Industrial Sectors Environment; Information Technologies
Region West Midlands
Programme ISCF Robotics
 
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr R Stolkin , School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Birmingham (99.977%)
  Other Investigator Dr A Montazeri , Engineering, Lancaster University (0.001%)
Dr CJ Taylor , Engineering, Lancaster University (0.001%)
Dr TB Scott , Interface Analysis Centre, University of Bristol (0.001%)
Dr G Herrmann , Mechanical Engineering, University of Bristol (0.001%)
Dr RR Malkin , Mechanical Engineering, University of Bristol (0.001%)
Professor R Stone , Electronic, Electrical and Computer Eng, University of Birmingham (0.001%)
Professor A Richards , Aerospace Engineering, University of Bristol (0.001%)
Dr TS Richardson , Aerospace Engineering, University of Bristol (0.001%)
Professor M Giuliani , Computing Engineering and Maths Science, University of the West of England (0.001%)
Professor C Melhuish , Computing Engineering and Maths Science, University of the West of England (0.001%)
Dr KD McDonald-Maier , Computing and Electronic Systems, University of Essex (0.001%)
Professor A Leonardis , School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham (0.001%)
Dr M Mistry , School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham (0.001%)
Dr L Jamone , Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Queen Mary, University of London (0.001%)
Dr ME Hansard , Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Queen Mary, University of London (0.001%)
Dr S Poslad , Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Queen Mary, University of London (0.001%)
Professor A Cavallaro , Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Queen Mary, University of London (0.001%)
Professor K Althoefer , Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Queen Mary, University of London (0.001%)
Dr I I Farkhatdinov , Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Queen Mary, University of London (0.001%)
Professor MA Hanheide , School of Computer Scienc, University of Lincoln (0.001%)
Professor G Neumann , School of Computer Scienc, University of Lincoln (0.001%)
Professor A Peer , Bristol Robotics Laborator, University of the West of England (0.001%)
Professor A Pipe , Bristol Robotics Laborator, University of the West of England (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , EDF Energy (0.000%)
Project Contact , Atkins (0.000%)
Project Contact , National Physical Laboratory (NPL) (0.000%)
Project Contact , BAE Systems Integrated System Technologies Limited (0.000%)
Project Contact , STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) (0.000%)
Project Contact , Toshiba Research Europe Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , National Nuclear Laboratory (0.000%)
Project Contact , Royal Institution of Great Britain (0.000%)
Project Contact , Thales Group, France (0.000%)
Project Contact , Tohoku University (Japan) (0.000%)
Project Contact , AWE Plc (0.000%)
Project Contact , Sellafield Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Forth Engineering (Cumbria) Limited (0.000%)
Project Contact , KUKA Robotics UK Limited (0.000%)
Project Contact , Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) (0.000%)
Project Contact , National Ocean Technology Center (NOTC), China (0.000%)
Project Contact , Rolls-Royce PLC (0.000%)
Project Contact , Synthotech Limited (0.000%)
Project Contact , Ionix Advanced Technologies Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Jacobs UK Limited (0.000%)
Project Contact , Atlas Elektronik UK (0.000%)
Project Contact , Shadow Robot Company Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Eidos Education, USA (0.000%)
Project Contact , Haption SA, France (0.000%)
Project Contact , IHI Corporation, Japan (0.000%)
Project Contact , Imitec Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Nuvia Limited (0.000%)
Project Contact , UltraSoC Technologies Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), USA (0.000%)
Project Contact , James Fisher Nuclear Limited (0.000%)
Project Contact , Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), Japan (0.000%)
Project Contact , Rovtech Solutions (0.000%)
Project Contact , Shield (0.000%)
Web Site
Objectives
Abstract Nuclear facilities require a wide variety of robotics capabilities, engendering a variety of extreme RAI challenges. NCNR brings together a diverse consortium of experts in robotics, AI, sensors, radiation and resilient embedded systems, to address these complex problems.In high gamma environments, human entries are not possible at all. In alpha-contaminated environments, air-fed suited human entries are possible, but engender significant secondary waste (contaminated suits), and reduced worker capability. We have a duty to eliminate the need for humans to enter such hazardous environments wherever technologically possible.Hence, nuclear robots will typically be remote from human controllers, creating significant opportunities for advanced telepresence. However, limited bandwidth and situational awareness demand increased intelligence and autonomous control capabilities on the robot, especially for performing complex manipulations. Shared control, where both human and AI collaboratively control the robot, will be critical because i) safety-critical environments demand a human in the loop, however ii) complex remote actions are too difficult for a human to perform reliably and efficiently.Before decommissioning can begin, and while it is progressing, characterization is needed. This can include 3D modelling of scenes, detection and recognition of objects and materials, as well as detection of contaminants, measurement of types and levels of radiation, and other sensing modalities such as thermal imaging. This will necessitate novel sensor design, advanced algorithms for robotic perception, and new kinds of robots to deploy sensors into hard-to-reach locations.To carry out remote interventions, both situational awareness for the remote human operator, and also guidance of autonomous/semi-autonomous robotic actions, will need to be informed by real-time multi-modal vision and sensing, including: real-time 3D modelling and semantic understanding of objects and scenes; active vision in dynamic scenes and vision-guided navigation and manipulation.The nuclear industry is high consequence, safety critical and conservative. It is therefore critically important to rigorously evaluate how well human operators can control remote technology to safely and efficiently perform the tasks that industry requires.All NCNR research will be driven by a set of industry-defined use-cases, WP1. Each use-case is linked to industry-defined testing environments and acceptance criteria for performance evaluation in WP11. WP2-9 deliver a variety of fundamental RAI research, including radiation resilient hardware, novel design of both robotics and radiation sensors, advanced vision and perception algorithms, mobility and navigation, grasping and manipulation, multi-modal telepresence and shared control.The project is based on modular design principles. WP10 develops standards for modularisation and module interfaces, which will be met by a diverse range of robotics, sensing and AI modules delivered by WPs2-9. WP10 will then integrate multiple modules onto a set of pre-commercial robot platforms, which will then be evaluated according to end-user acceptance criteria in WP11.WP12 is devoted to technology transfer, in collaboration with numerous industry partners and the Shield Investment Fund who specialise in venture capital investment in RAI technologies, taking novel ideas through to fully fledged commercial deployments. Shield have ring-fenced 10million capital to run alongside all NCNR Hub research, to fund spin-out companies and industrialisation of Hub IP. We have rich international involvement, including NASA Jet Propulsion Lab and Carnegie Melon National Robotics Engineering Center as collaborators in USA, and collaboration from Japan Atomic Energy Agency to help us carry out test-deployments of NCNR robots in the unique Fukushima mock-up testing facilities at the Naraha Remote Technology Development Center
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 28/01/19