More than 350 delegates attended an event at the Energus centre, Cumbria, highlighting the challenges and opportunities for robotics and artificial intelligence, their capabilities and cultural impact.
Delivering Change through Robotics at Sellafield was hosted by Game Changers and the Robotics and Artificial Intelligence for Nuclear (RAIN) Hub. RAIN was set up to accelerate the rate of nuclear deployment for robotics and AI. The event demonstrated current use of robotics at Sellafield and showcased next generation robotic developments. It also offered Sellafield’s workforce the opportunity to help shape the future role of robotics in decommissioning.
In addition, the event was used by Game Changers as a launch platform for three new challenges to find robotic solutions for Sellafield.
Challenge 1: To identify deployment techniques allowing remote working at height in highly hazardous areas. The technique should be deployable through a 150mm port with a modular approach to end effectors – for example characterisation, decontamination and removal of debris from cells.
Challenge 2: To achieve autonomous removal of Special Nuclear Material (SNM) packages from storage to transport containers for export. Sellafield seeks to replace current retrieval process of these packages, increasing throughput from 200 to at least 700 packages a year.
Challenge 3: To manage remote inspection of SNM packages. Sellafield wants the ability to inspect SNM packages after retrieval from storage. They need a solution capable of inspecting 200 packages a year, rising to at least 700 packages a year.
Delegates from a wide range of companies and organisations heard details of the challenges and support available through Game Changers for the development of innovative robotics. A special physical non-active demonstrator at the Robotics for Extreme Environments Laboratory will be created to mimic the environments where robots are needed. Successful challenge applicants will be able to demonstrate robot prototypes and their capabilities.
The closing date for challenge applications is 12 noon, October 11th, 2019.