National Centre for Nuclear Robotics (NCNR)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: Metallurgy and Materials

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.

Planned Impact

The NCNR RAI Hub is uniquely equipped and resourced to achieve impactful engagement with the entire value chain. This is because the NCNR Pathways to Impact strategy has been co-created in partnership with key representatives of the entire value chain. NCNR has cemented key partnerships to ensure we deliver:
1) Education and career development of a large new nuclear robotics work-force.
2) Fundamental academic research which comprehensively spans the huge diversity of RAI technologies and related supporting technologies (sensors, resilient chips etc.) that are needed to meet the nuclear challenge.
3) Hand-in-hand partnership with nuclear end-users from the Hub's conception through to delivery - end-users specify the use-cases that drive all Hub research, and specify acceptance criteria used for evaluation.
4) Embedding research outputs directly into major industrial partners, both nuclear and robotics companies, large corporations and cutting-edge SMEs, via long-term embedding and secondments of our researchers.
5) £10million specialist RAI venture capital already committed, with specialist RAI investment and commercialisation experts forming full collaborating project participants from day 1, aimed at converting Hub research outputs into new spin-out companies and achieving commercial technology licensing to end-users.
6) Active participation of the national nuclear agencies of several countries, spanning three continents, to enable real deployments of Hub RAI technologies onto nuclear sites both nationally and internationally.
7) Outreach and public communication of science to engage the wider community with the Hub's contributions.

Our Work Plan supports industrial impact through successful transfer of technology out from the Hub and into partner organisations, including: new Hub spin-out companies; major nuclear end-user companies; large robotics companies and our network of cutting edge UK and European robotics SMEs; other extreme environment domains, e.g. bob-disposal or firefighting robots; and manufacturing industry.

To ensure end-user exploitation, we will embed many of our PDRF and PhD researchers inside nuclear and robotics companies, and send others for extended collaborative research visits at the nuclear agencies of UK, France, Japan and South Korea. We will also collaborate with UK company partners on InnovateUK projects.

Additional specific pathways to industrialisation include:
1) Director Stolkin and Co-Director Scott are themselves directly embedded inside the nuclear industry (NNL Ltd, and AWE respectively) by Royal Society and RAEng fellowships respectively. This places them in a unique position, relative to any other academics in the country, to inject Hub research into building RAI capabilities in the UK nuclear industry. It also gives unique access to industry advice to help steer our Hub research towards industrial applications.
2) Project partner Shield Investment Management specialises in investing in robotics and AI, particularly in under-roboticised industries (of which nuclear is a prime example). Shield has committed £10million venture capital to NCNR, as well as expertise in taking RAI from conception through to industrialisation.
3) BRL (Melhuish, Pipe) have created the UK's first robotics incubator at the BRL site which has fostered numerous robotics start-up companies.

We will actively engage with the ongoing InnovateUK Demonstrator, Innovation and Nuclear SBRI Programmes. NCNR partners are already involved in four of the eight SBRI Integrated Nuclear Decommissioning projects which received Phase 1 awards. We will seek translation of NCNR technologies into the InnovateUK Innovation and Demonstrator ISCF Programmes, and we will collaborate with industry partners and investors to submit proposals to the regular 6-monthly InnovateUK calls.

Organisations

 
Description The first six months of NCNR has seen many new research developments, spanning robotics, AI, computer vision, sensing and resilient systems. Significant academic work has been done with at least 16 papers published, and another >15 papers submitted and in review.

We have also fulfilled our promise to deliver technology-transfer from day 1 of the project. Within the first 6 months, NCNR members have been active in at least 6 parallel InnovateUK projects. Additional advanced robotic manipulation methods have been implemented by the Birmingham team on the Sorting and Segregation robot testrig at the NNL Workington nuclear industry site. We have also engaged in significant commercialisation work via our various associated spinout companies. This includes further development of advanced autonomous robotic manipulation capabilities at TRL7 inside live radioactive environments (NNL Preston - vision/AI-guided robotic Laser cutting by Stolkin's team), radiation surveys by Scott's team, and InnovateUK-funded feasibility studies involving several spinouts and SMEs.

Most partners have made substantial progress in setting up robotic testrigs at their sites (e.g. manipulator setups at Birmingham, Lincoln, Lancaster, BRL, Edinburgh). Initial work is underway to build mockup nuclear environments for test-deployments of robots at several sites. U Bristol (Scott) has been developing unique mock-up robot testing environments which contain live radioactive sources. Essex have been reviewing several collaborator sites (NASA, RAL-ISIS, NPL) which offer radiation facilities, to plan radiation-resilience testing of electronics, sensors, chips and embedded systems which will develop as the project progresses.

A large amount of public engagement activity has taken place. We presented NCNR at the Innovation2017 conference where the new RAI hubs were first publicly announced. We have also presented our work to the IEEE Technical Committee on Robotics and Automation for Nuclear Facilities. We presented at the conference held at British Antarctic Survey in December 2017, and at the UK RAS conference organised by partner BRL in December 2017, and at the UK RAS conference organised by partner QMUL in early 2018. We have (Stolkin, Neumann) competitively won and led a workshop at European Robotics Forum (ERF) March 2018, dedicated to nuclear applications of robotics. As well as presenting NCNR, we have invited the Manchester-led RAIN nuclear robotics hub to also present at this ERF workshop. PI Stolkin was also invited to speak at the Innovation workshop at ERF2018, led by European Commission - NCNR was presented and received a lot of attention from senior H2020 robotics funding officers of the European Commission - further engagement has been requested by the Commission officers.

We have also developed clear plans for educational outreach to promote nuclear robotics as an engaging theme for STEM education. The Royal Institution is coordinating national outreach efforts of NCNR. Non-profit education SME Eidos Education is consulting to coordinate hub members to create new educational materials, and promote international dissemination.

In months 7-9, we have continued the rapid growth and large activity seen in the previous 6 months. A large number of new peer-reviewed publications have been generated by the consortium. Additional industrial impact has been demonstrated. Examples include UAV aerial survey of a uranium ore mine; collaboration with SMEs, nuclear industry, and InnovateUK to further develop robotic laser-cutting capabilities, including showing how novel radiation sensors can be used to selectively cut out highly contaminated material. New vision-guided robot control software is now being licensed to the nuclear industry by Stolkin's team. The National Centre has also been presented to House of Commons MP Thangam Debbonaire - Industrial Parliamentary Fellow for the energy industry. The National Centre has also been presented at a meeting of the Royal Society with very positive feedback. Eidos Education have collaborated with Royal Institution to create a questionnaire which is being used to map the large variety of educational outreach activity that exists across the National Centre universities. This will then be used to coordinate outreach efforts nationally and internationally. Two new universities (Plymouth and Southampton) have been added to the National Centre for Nuclear Robotics consortium, via our Flexible Partnership Fund, and we are developing plans with them for nuclear submarine decommissioning, and underwater radiation sensing respectively.
By month 11, the consortium reports 60 peer reviewed papers published, and additional successes with innovation and knowledge transfer. Highlights include a novel autonomous grasping algorithm, which does not rely on either object models or on learning. This has attracted a lot of attention from National Nuclwar Lab Ltd, and is now being implemented on their industrial robot testbed. By month 15, the consortium reports 70 peer-reviewed publications on new knowkedge created. New robotics methods include a variable-autonomy/shared-control system in which our AI-based autonomous robotic grasping and manipulation algorithms can be ergonomically fused with the intentions of a human operator via a virtual reality and haptics user interface. This has been implemented on the industrial RoMaNS robot testrig at the NNL Workington nuclear industry site and has been tested by nuclear industry experts.

By month 18, we have achieved 100 peer reviewed publications. Further tech-transfer work has been done, including two more SBRI projects funded by InnovateUK. We continue to work with NNL Ltd in an advisory role to help progress the major commercial robotics initiatives of Sellafield Ltd. We have been working with Shield Investment Management to develop business models for commercialisation of hub technologies to additional industries outside of nuclear. The European Commission and the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency have been promoting our work and inviting us to present at major international events. Scott (Bristol) has been invited to carry out unmanned radiation surveys at Chernobyl and other important legacy sites in Ukraine.
Exploitation Route These are fundamental technologies covering a vast array of robotics, AI and sensing functionalities, with applications across numerous sectors. We are primarily targeting the nuclear industry, but we are also receiving strong interest from other sectors (e.g. advanced manipulation capabilities for the manufacturing industry). We have already won major new Industrial Strategy funding as a part of the Faraday Institute on electric vehicle batteries. Disassembling these batteries for recycling is extremely hazardous (potentially explosive, highly flammable and very toxic gasses). We are now showing how the vision and manipulation capabilities that we developed for nuclear decommissioning (vision-guided robotic cutting, grasping, manipulating) can be transferred to robotic disassembly of EV Lithium ion batteries.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Construction,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Electronics,Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Security and Diplomacy,Transport,Other

URL http://www.ncnr.org.uk
 
Description Months 1-6: Scott (U Bristol) has carried out deployments of UAV aerial radiation surveys. Stolkin (U Birmingham) has been sending team members to implement advanced robotic grasping and manipulation methods on the industrial robot testrig at National Nuclear Lab Ltd's industrial Workington site. Scott has continued in his advisory roles (e.g. House of Lords Special Advisor on Nuclear Technologies), and Stolkin has continued in his embedded role with the UK nuclear industry as Royal Society Industry Fellow for nuclear robotics - working closely with NNL Ltd. Several PIs/researchers have continued parallel work at high TRL via their respective spinout companies, including via InnovateUK projects. This has included new work with NNL Ltd on high-TRL robotic laser-cutting of radioactive waste. It has also included involvement of hub members in a large number of InnovateUK SBRI nuclear robotics projects. Months 7-9: Scott has shown how his UAVs and novel radiation sensors can be deployed to carry out prospecting surveys at a uranium ore mine in Arizona, USA. Stolkin's team have upgraded the autonomous vision system on NNL Ltd's robotic laser-cutting test-rig. Scott has worked with spinout ImiTec and InnovateUK to show proof of principle for using radiation sensors to detect, and selectively cut out, highly contaminated parts during robotic laser cutting. This shows strong promise for combination with the advanced autononomous methods of Stolkin's team, and the work of Lancaster (Taylor) using heavy duty hydraulic manipulators. PI Stolkin has presented NCNR to House of Commons MP Thangam Debbonaire, who has an Industrial Parliamentary Fellowship to investigate the energy industry. Debbonaire has stated intention to include this in her report to the House of Commons. Stolkin's team have developed a novel model-free and learning-free approach to vision-guided autonomou grasping. This has attracted large interest from the UK nuclear industry and is now being installed on National Nuclear Lab Ltd's industrial robot testbed. We have also won major new Industrial Strategy funding as a part of the Faraday Institute on electric vehicle batteries. Disassembling these batteries for recycling is extremely hazardous (potentially explosive, highly flammable and very toxic gasses). We are now showing how the vision and manipulation capabilities that we developed for nuclear decommissioning (vision-guided robotic cutting, grasping, manipulating) can be transferred to robotic disassembly of EV Lithium ion batteries. Months13-15: new robotics methods include a variable-autonomy/shared-control system in which our AI-based autonomous robotic grasping and manipulation algorithms can be ergonomically fused with the intentions of a human operator via a virtual reality and haptics user interface. This has been implemented on the RoMaNS industrial robot testrig at the NNL Ltd Workington nuclear industry site and has been tested by nuclear industry experts. We have also undertaken additional work to identify applications for our advanced robot control methods in other industrial sectors outside of nuclear, interacting with end-users in manufacturing and other sectors. New work by Scott et al. (Bristol) is commencing with invitation to deliver unmanned radiation surveys at Chernobyl and other legacy sites in Ukraine. New tech transfer work has been undertaken, including two more SBRI projects funded by InnovateUK and Sellafield Ltd.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics,Energy,Environment,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport,Other
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Automato
Amount £500,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 65058-448250 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 03/2019
 
Description Centre for Innovative Nuclear Decommissioning Engineering - In situ measurement and analysis of sludge using robotic platform
Amount £50,000 (GBP)
Organisation Sellafield Ltd 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 09/2021
 
Description H2020
Amount € 6,987,715 (EUR)
Funding ID 732737 
Organisation European Commission H2020 
Sector Public
Country Belgium
Start 01/2017 
End 12/2020
 
Description InnovateUK
Amount £961,440 (GBP)
Funding ID 103339 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 09/2019
 
Description Research and Development Competition for RAI in Extreme and Challenging Environments; Project Title: Wormbot
Amount £150,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 104059 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2018 
End 09/2019
 
Description Robotics and Autonomous Systems Application over £100k or Over 12 months - ISCF (Project title: iGRASP)
Amount £278,202 (GBP)
Funding ID 103676 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2018 
End 03/2019
 
Title Continuous integration and testing platform 
Description Integrated continuous testing and integration server solution 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact improved software quality, continuous integration and deployment in large-scale robotics software projects 
URL https://github.com/LCAS/rosdistro/wiki
 
Title Thorvald Simulation, a versatile modular mobile robot platform for extreme environments 
Description Software release of high-fidelity simulation of mobile robot platform "Thorvald", in collaboration with SAGA Ltd., to facilitate research in reinforcement learning and adaptation for mobile robots in extreme environments (employed in nuclear and agricultural robotics). 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact A testbed and "training gym" for mobile robots 
URL https://github.com/LCAS/rosdistro/wiki/repos#thorvald
 
Title Drum Radiological models and Drum Scanning Models 
Description Valentin Piau (supervised by Guido Herrmann) from École Nationale Supérieure de Physique, Électronique et Matériaux, Grenoble, France, submitted final report for his 3 months (June-August 2018) project on "Automated ILW drum scanning using a robot manipulator - Development of a simulation tool". This tool is to be the basis of alpha, beta and gamma inspection algorithms for decommissioning. Gamma Source, Drum, drum material and gamma detector models have been developed. KUKA based scanning algorithms have been tested in simulation (relevant to NCNR and RAIN). Detail to be updated as work advances. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The models will be an important basis to practical scanning algorithms for other Researchers. Detail to be updated as work advances. 
 
Description AWE - Disruptive technologies collaboration 
Organisation Atomic Weapons Establishment
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We have been working with the AWE as collaborators providing them with intelligence about new sensor technologies arising from the grant. Specifically AWE have been engaging on the development of low power sensor pobs for monitoring temperature, humidity and radiation intensity.
Collaborator Contribution The have attended Industrial Advisory Board meetings, provided contacts within BEIS and established a side project on sensor developments for monitoring storage environments at the Aldermaston site. We have been advised that they will let us deploy our sensor units on the Aldermaston site as a significant demonstration of the technology. They have also provided access to their advanced SIMS capability to make quantification of Boron in the diamond films we've been making.
Impact This partnership has led to us developing a PCB version of our prototype sensor pod technology that will be purchased and deployed by the AWE as a prototype demonstration. The project has been inherently cross-disciplinary involving electronic engineers, device physicists and materials scientists.
Start Year 2017
 
Description InnovateUK SBRI collaboration - nuclear decommissioning robot 
Organisation National Nuclear Laboratory
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution University of Birmingham researchers, via our spinout consultancy A.R.M Robotics Ltd (a specialised robotics SME), collaborated with Bristol Robotics Lab, National Nuclear Lab, and several other SMEs, as part of an InnovateUK SBRI project. In this project we built and demonstrated a semi-autonomous mobile manipulator robot, which could autonomously navigate and cut pipework. The contribution of the Birmingham team was the advanced vision system and robot arm control.
Collaborator Contribution Bristol Robotics Lab assembled the robot platform, provided the semi-autonomous vehicle navigation software, and hosted the project demo. NNL Ltd provided project management and expert nuclear industry advice and guidance. University of Bristol provided expert advice on radiometric sensor payload for the robot. University of Essex provided expert advice about potential for making the onboard computer systems radiation resilient.
Impact Highly successful feasibility study. Delivered working prototype and successful live demonstration of autonomously navigating across a room, building up a 3D model of pipework, and autonomously cutting the pipe with a tool on a vehicle-mounted robot arm.
Start Year 2017
 
Description InnovateUK SBRI collaboration - nuclear decommissioning robot 
Organisation University of Bristol
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution University of Birmingham researchers, via our spinout consultancy A.R.M Robotics Ltd (a specialised robotics SME), collaborated with Bristol Robotics Lab, National Nuclear Lab, and several other SMEs, as part of an InnovateUK SBRI project. In this project we built and demonstrated a semi-autonomous mobile manipulator robot, which could autonomously navigate and cut pipework. The contribution of the Birmingham team was the advanced vision system and robot arm control.
Collaborator Contribution Bristol Robotics Lab assembled the robot platform, provided the semi-autonomous vehicle navigation software, and hosted the project demo. NNL Ltd provided project management and expert nuclear industry advice and guidance. University of Bristol provided expert advice on radiometric sensor payload for the robot. University of Essex provided expert advice about potential for making the onboard computer systems radiation resilient.
Impact Highly successful feasibility study. Delivered working prototype and successful live demonstration of autonomously navigating across a room, building up a 3D model of pipework, and autonomously cutting the pipe with a tool on a vehicle-mounted robot arm.
Start Year 2017
 
Description InnovateUK SBRI collaboration - nuclear decommissioning robot 
Organisation University of Essex
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution University of Birmingham researchers, via our spinout consultancy A.R.M Robotics Ltd (a specialised robotics SME), collaborated with Bristol Robotics Lab, National Nuclear Lab, and several other SMEs, as part of an InnovateUK SBRI project. In this project we built and demonstrated a semi-autonomous mobile manipulator robot, which could autonomously navigate and cut pipework. The contribution of the Birmingham team was the advanced vision system and robot arm control.
Collaborator Contribution Bristol Robotics Lab assembled the robot platform, provided the semi-autonomous vehicle navigation software, and hosted the project demo. NNL Ltd provided project management and expert nuclear industry advice and guidance. University of Bristol provided expert advice on radiometric sensor payload for the robot. University of Essex provided expert advice about potential for making the onboard computer systems radiation resilient.
Impact Highly successful feasibility study. Delivered working prototype and successful live demonstration of autonomously navigating across a room, building up a 3D model of pipework, and autonomously cutting the pipe with a tool on a vehicle-mounted robot arm.
Start Year 2017
 
Description InnovateUK SBRI collaboration - nuclear decommissioning robot 
Organisation University of the West of England
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution University of Birmingham researchers, via our spinout consultancy A.R.M Robotics Ltd (a specialised robotics SME), collaborated with Bristol Robotics Lab, National Nuclear Lab, and several other SMEs, as part of an InnovateUK SBRI project. In this project we built and demonstrated a semi-autonomous mobile manipulator robot, which could autonomously navigate and cut pipework. The contribution of the Birmingham team was the advanced vision system and robot arm control.
Collaborator Contribution Bristol Robotics Lab assembled the robot platform, provided the semi-autonomous vehicle navigation software, and hosted the project demo. NNL Ltd provided project management and expert nuclear industry advice and guidance. University of Bristol provided expert advice on radiometric sensor payload for the robot. University of Essex provided expert advice about potential for making the onboard computer systems radiation resilient.
Impact Highly successful feasibility study. Delivered working prototype and successful live demonstration of autonomously navigating across a room, building up a 3D model of pipework, and autonomously cutting the pipe with a tool on a vehicle-mounted robot arm.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Jacobs Engineering 
Organisation Jacobs Engineering Group
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Working with Jacobs in aspects of research related to extreme environment sensors and robotics for nuclear and space applications. Providing expertise and advice for Jacobs and also linking through to the NASA research programme (via Jacobs)
Collaborator Contribution Funding support for 4 MSc students, with an expectation for annual funding for 4 MSc students plus direct funding for other projects.
Impact A series of technical reports have been produced for Jacobs (4 in total so far) which have been fed into their US programme.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute (KURRI) 
Organisation Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute
PI Contribution We have been working with KURRI as our project partners to utilise their test reactor and Co-60 irradiation facility in Osaka to (I) neutron activate C-13 diamond samples and (2) utilise the irradiator facility to test our gamma voltaic prototype devices. As part of this we have modelled neutron irradiations of our diamond wafers in their reactor core.
Collaborator Contribution The have attended Industrial Advisory Board meetings in person and by Skype. They have also provided access to their Co-60 irradiator and have already deployed one set of test samples in their reactor core for neutron irradiation. They have provided VERY substantial in-kind support by providing this unique access.
Impact Access to a test reactor! We don't have one in the UK so this is a very significant outcome. What is even more substantial is that we don't have to pay for access.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Participation in the Centre for Innovative Nuclear Decommissioning Engineering (CINDe) and other Sellafield Ltd / NNL funded PhD student research 
Organisation National Nuclear Laboratory
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The Centre is a partnership between Manchester, Lancaster and Liverpool Universities, together with Sellafield Ltd and the National Nuclear Laboratory. Its mission is to innovate and deliver future engineering leaders, supporting the UK's nuclear decommissioning programme in west Cumbria. Within CINDe, early projects hosted by Lancaster University Engineering Department include robotic systems for the analysis of sludge and research into the decontamination of plutonium contaminated brick surfaces. In addition to these CINDe projects, the Lancaster academic team for the National Centre for Nuclear Robotics supervised four other Sellafield Ltd and/or National Nuclear Laboratory funded research student projects i.e. connected to instrumentation and robotics for nuclear decommissioning.
Collaborator Contribution Full and part funding of research studentships (PhD), joint industry supervision and provision of technical information about specific nuclear decommissioning research challenges.
Impact To date: articles submitted and under review, together with PhD studentships in progress.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Participation in the Centre for Innovative Nuclear Decommissioning Engineering (CINDe) and other Sellafield Ltd / NNL funded PhD student research 
Organisation Sellafield Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The Centre is a partnership between Manchester, Lancaster and Liverpool Universities, together with Sellafield Ltd and the National Nuclear Laboratory. Its mission is to innovate and deliver future engineering leaders, supporting the UK's nuclear decommissioning programme in west Cumbria. Within CINDe, early projects hosted by Lancaster University Engineering Department include robotic systems for the analysis of sludge and research into the decontamination of plutonium contaminated brick surfaces. In addition to these CINDe projects, the Lancaster academic team for the National Centre for Nuclear Robotics supervised four other Sellafield Ltd and/or National Nuclear Laboratory funded research student projects i.e. connected to instrumentation and robotics for nuclear decommissioning.
Collaborator Contribution Full and part funding of research studentships (PhD), joint industry supervision and provision of technical information about specific nuclear decommissioning research challenges.
Impact To date: articles submitted and under review, together with PhD studentships in progress.
Start Year 2017
 
Title Captain Toolbox for Time Series Analysis, Forecasting and Control - new algorithms added 
Description The CAPTAIN Toolbox is a collection of Matlab functions for system identification, time series analysis, forecasting and control. The current developers are Prof. Peter Young, Dr. Wlodek Tych and Prof. James Taylor, Lancaster University, UK. Although the toolbox has been available for many years, new and improved algorithms have been added to the package as a result of recent EPSRC funded research. For details see e.g. Taylor, C.J., Young, P.C., Tych, W., Wilson, E.D. (2018) New developments in the CAPTAIN Toolbox for Matlab with case study examples, IFAC-PapersOnLine, 51, 15, 694-699, 2018 (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ifacol.2018.09.202). 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact The toolbox is used for the analysis of numerous biological, environmental, engineering and socio-economic processes, as illustrated by some of the articles in the scientific literature that cite the following: Taylor, C.J., Pedregal, D.J., Young, P.C. and Tych, W. (2007) Environmental time series analysis and forecasting with the Captain toolbox, Environmental Modelling and Software, 22, pp. 797-814 (dx.doi.org/doi:10.1016/j.envsoft.2006.03.002). 
 
Title Open Source Contributions to the L-CAS ROS software repository 
Description Outcomes of research are released to community and partners as part of the L-CAS ROS software repository 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2017 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact ease of use and deployment of developed algorithms and software component. Download statistics for released software averages current at around 500-1000 individual installations of software per year. 
URL https://github.com/LCAS/rosdistro/wiki
 
Description Presentation by Althoefer (QMUL) at the Innovate UK organised Materials Research Exchange conference (http://www.mre2018.co.uk/programme), held at the Business Design Centre in London, on 12 March 2018, reporting on advancements in soft robotics for extreme environments. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Prof Kaspar Althoefer presented at the Innovate UK organised Materials Research Exchange conference (http://www.mre2018.co.uk/programme), held at the Business Design Centre in London, on 12 March 2018. Althoefer reported on the achievements and challenges of soft robotics operating in extreme and challenging environments including those related to nuclear waste decommissioning and nuclear plant maintenance. New contact to industry (Nuvia) established.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.mre2018.co.uk/programme
 
Description AWE board meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Regular update on progress to the AWE Strategic board with University of Bristol
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description AWE briefing day regarding use of robotics 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Meeting with Dr Andrew Wallwork from the AWE to discuss the use of robots for advanced manufacturing and concept redevelopment for glovebox working
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Alpha Characterisation Capability Workshop with National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) and Sellafield Ltd. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact On 02 AUG 2018, Bristol's research team of South West Nuclear Hub attended a workshop held by NNL and Sellafield Ltd. The workshop was at the NNL Workington Laboratory with attendants from various UK universities, in order to develop a sensing solution to a new decommissioning project at Sellafield. At the workshop, the current alpha characterisation approaches that are used in Sellafield were presented. The attending research teams introduced their developed alpha characterisation methods, including the Raman Spectrometer and the radiation sensor developed by the University of Bristol team, to NNL and Sellafield Ltd. After the workshop, a site-visit was carried out at the NNL Laboratory.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Babcock-Cavendish collaboration and meetings on nuclear waste and plant inspection 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A workshop organised by the South West Nuclear Hub for the purposes of sharing information on our research on nuclear waste and nuclear plant inspection.
This specifically included diamond detectors as well as laser-driven gamma and neutron imaging of waste packages.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description CBRN presentation at Shrivenham 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Invited talk on the use of UAV technologies in the nuclear industry for surveying and monitoring. Also covering emergency response.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Demonstration of ANYmal quadruped robot at Goodwood Festival of Speed 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We performed live demonstrations of the ANYmal robot at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, a 4 day public event with an estimate of 50,000 attendees. We showed the legged robot navigating an obstacle course with steps, ramps, and rough terrain. This sparked many questions and discussions with the public, including the media, children, and industry representatives, and increased general interest in our research and possibilities for future engagements.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.goodwood.com/flagship-events/festival-of-speed/
 
Description EDF Security Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Nuclear Industry Association security summit hosted in Bristol - Plenary on robotics and innovation for security and surveillance.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description EDF meeting on nuclear safety and security 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Meeting with EDF Head of Security for Hinkley Point C to discuss the use of sensor and robotic systems for site security and surveillance.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description I. Farkhatdinov: Invited presentation at UK Robotics and Automation exhibition 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Invited presentation at UK Robotics and Automation exhibition
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description IEEE IROS presentation "Getting to know your robot customers: automated analysis of user identity and demographics for robots in the wild" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact conference talk on paper
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description IMechE Nuclear Decommissioning Knowledge Capture Workshop - 13 February 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact IMechE Nuclear Decommissioning Knowledge Capture Workshop - 13 February 2019: Research Associate, Kaiqiang Zhang, and I participated. This was an ideal opportunity to meet various industrial and governmental stakeholders across Europe involved in various aspects of nuclear decommissioning. The event took place at the Office of Nuclear Regulations in Bootle. (This is reported for NCNR and RAIN)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://nearyou.imeche.org/eventdetail?id=16007
 
Description Interview with InnovateUK/EPSRC video team 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We have created a video interview, with InnovateUK/EPSRC video team. This included valuable interviews with researchers, industry partners, tech-transfer/commercialisation investors, and end-user experts. Unfortunately this video has not yet been released by EPSRC - but it is an extremely valuable promotional video that should be made public as soon as possible.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited Talk at Industrial Partner Toshiba 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Manuel Giuliani, Alex Smith and Mehdi Sobhani from UWE-BRL presented NCNR and the work done at UWE-BRL on Nuclear Robotics to Industry Partner Toshiba in Bristol on 26 July 2018. Purpose of the talk was to meet with Toshiba in order to discuss potential collaborations in NCNR.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited presentation at CogX 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Althoefer gave invited presentation on soft robotics at CogX 2018 as part of the Turing Research session; London, 11th of June 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited presentation at RAS Chapter Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact K. Althoefer gave an invited presentation on "Fusing function with structure in soft robotics" in The 3nd Annual IEEE UK and Ireland RAS Chapter Conference and The First Annual IFToMM UK MO Conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Invited presentation on soft robotics at CogX 2018, London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The presentation, which was part of the Turing Research session at CogX 2018, was well attended by experts in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics. The presentation by Prof Kaspar Althoefer summarising the latest findings in the area of soft robotics was well received. Possible collaboration with an SME on soft robotics for extreme environments emerged.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://cogx.co/2018-speakers/
 
Description Invited research seminar by Prof. James Taylor on mobile robotics for unstructured environments, Southampton, UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Invited Research Seminar on Mobile Robotics for Unstructured Environments hosted by the Department of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited talk - Innovation Workshop at European robotics Forum March 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact One of only three projects invited by European Commission to present at this workshop - workshop focused on how to build synergy between research projects an tech-transfer. Great interest from senior commission robotics officers - request for further engagement.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited talk at Extreme Environment robotics conference at British Antarctic Survey Dec 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact All four Extreme Environment RAI Hubs were requsted to present at this conference, organised for EPSRC by BAS.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description K. Althoefer: Invited presentation on soft robotics at CogX 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Invited presentation on soft robotics at CogX
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description K. Althoefer: Invited presentation on soft robotics at the Turing sponsored IADS (Institute of Applied Data Science) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact K. Althoefer: Invited presentation on soft robotics at the Turing sponsored IADS (Institute of Applied Data Science)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description K. Althoefer: Invited presentation on soft robotics at the Turing sponsored Robotics Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact K. Althoefer: Invited to present on soft robotics at the Turing sponsored Robotics Workshop
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Keynote at "The Road to Intelligent Automation" to regional Industry 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Talk about the opportunities of AI and robotics for automation for businesses and service industries
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-road-to-intelligent-automation-tickets-45799685091
 
Description Laboratory demonstration by Prof. James Taylor of nuclear decommissioning robot, Lancaster, UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Our mobile dual-manipulator nuclear decommissioning robot and laser-cutting robot were demonstrated to small groups of prospective students and family members as part of a University Open Day.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Maeeting with Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) and Kyoto University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presenting on technological developments to solve nuclear challenges
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Meeting with BIM 360 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Meeting to discuss potential projects
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Meeting with Framatome 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presenting on technological developments to solve nuclear challenges
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Meeting with Fraser Nash Consultancy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Meeting to discuss potential projects between Fraser Nash Consultancy (FNC) and the National Centre for Nuclear Robotics
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Meeting with Nuclear AMRC 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presenting on technological developments to solve nuclear challenges
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Meeting with Sun Yat-sen University SYSU and Japan Atomic Energy Agency JAEA 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Meeting as a follow-up from the Uranium Science conference to discuss next steps for heightened collaboration
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Meeting with Toshiba Research Ltd 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact On 28 November 2018, Manuel Giuliani and Alex Smith from the Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL), University of the West of England, met at BRL with researchers from Toshiba Research Europe Ltd (TRL). The BRL team presented NCNR and a tele-operation demonstration to the visitors. TRL presented on their work in wireless communication. The goal of this meeting was to work together on wireless tele-operation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Nuclear Decommissioning Authority Meeting re Unmanned aerial vehicles 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Meeting with NDA re UAVs in decommissioning
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Nuclear Waste & Decommissioning Research Forum 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presenting on technological developments to solve nuclear challenges
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description ORCA Field Trials 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Live field demo of quadruped robot negotiating uneven and hazardous in an oil-rig mock up at the Fire Service College, Moreton-on-Marsh. This demonstration has led to further industry interest and engagement.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description ORCA Hub Industry Open Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation and live demo of the quadruped robot negotiating uneven terrain. This activity lead to further industrial interest, discussion and engagement.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description One week robotics/AI summer school on nculear robotics for 14-17 yr olds at Royal Institution 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This is a one week course, run by Prof Stolkin and Peter Brewer at Royal Institution of Great Britain, in their prestigious London |Mayfair premises. 24 school children, from 14-17, spend one week working in teams to design, build and prorgam their own robots, inspired by the challenges of nuclear decommissioning. This includes underwater robots, and autonomous robots that use sensors to navigate and manipulate materials in a mockup nuclear environment. The students also learn about otehr areas of robotics, vision systems, AI and machine learning from a series of mini-lectures, as well as how robotics relates to areas of mathematics and physics. The students also learn about Intellectual Property, patenting and entrepreneurialism, and draft their own patent claims for the robots that they develop. We have received outstanding feedback on this coures, and are working with Ri to make these materials scalable for use nationally and internationally.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Panel Member on "200yr Frankenstein" celebration 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact One of three panel members to debate the opportunities and dangers of robots and AI
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://blog.bishopg.ac.uk/blog/frankenstein-anniversary
 
Description Poster presentation by T. Fried on analysis of sludge in hazardous environments at 45th Annual Waste Management Symposium, Phoenix, USA 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Abstract and poster by T. Fried, D. Cheneler, S. Monk, C.J. Taylor and J. Dodds on "In situ mechanical analysis of sludge in hazardous environments", to be presentated by T, Fried at 45th Annual Waste Management Symposium (WM 2019), 3-7 March, Phoenix, USA.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://wmsym.org/conference-information/wm2019
 
Description Presentation at the 2nd IEEE UK & Ireland RAS Conference, at Queen Mary University of London, London, 22 February 2018; providing overview of NCNR activities 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The presentation was attended by roboticists and experts in robotics for extreme environments. The presented overview was well received and led to discussions with the general public and members of the other hubs on robotics for extreme environments. Potential for collaboration emerged.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/metallurgy-materials/robotics/national-centre-nuclear...
 
Description Presentation by Craig West on vision-based positioning system at UKACC 12th International Conference on Control, Sheffield, UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation by Craig West on "A vision-based positioning system with inverse dead-zone control for dual-hydraulic manipulators" at UKACC 12th International Conference on Control, 5-7 September, Sheffield, UK. Authors: West, C., Monk, S., Montazeri, A. and Taylor, C.J.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation by Dr A. Montazeri on dead-zone control of a hydraulic manipulator at 18th IFAC Symposium on System Identification, Stockholm, Sweden 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Paper presentation to academics and industry participants at conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation by Dr A. Montazeri on frequency domain subspace identification at 18th IFAC Symposium on System Identification, Stockholm, Sweden 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation by Dr A. Montazeri on "Frequency Domain Subspace Identification of Multivariable Dynamical Systems for Robust Control Design" at 18th IFAC Symposium on System Identification (SYSID-2018), Stockholm, Sweden.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation by Dr A. Montazeri on nonlinear system identification at Workshop on Nonlinear System Identification Benchmarks, Liege, Belgium 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation by Dr A. Montazeri on "An Investigation of the Wiener Approach for Nonlinear System Identification Benchmarks" at Workshop on Nonlinear System Identification Benchmarks, Liege, Belgium.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation by Dr A. Montazeri on optimal input excitation design at 18th IFAC Symposium on System Identification, Stockholm, Sweden 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation by Dr A. Montazeri on "Optimal Input Excitation Design for Nonparametric Uncertainty Quantification of Multi-Input Multi-Output Systems" at 18th IFAC Symposium on System Identification (SYSID-2018), 9-11 July, Stockholm, Sweden.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation by Dr A. Montazeri on robots in extreme environments at the Humboldt Colloquium, Oxford, UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation by Dr A. Montazeri on "High Performance Grasping and Manipulation for Robots in Extreme Environments" at Humboldt Colloquium: Moving Forward-UK Germany Research Network in a Changing World, March 2018, Oxford University, Oxford, UK.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation by Dr A. Montazeri on state-dependent parameter model identification at 18th IFAC Symposium on System Identification, Stockholm, Sweden 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation by Dr A. Montazeri on "State-dependent parameter model identification for inverse dead-zone control of a hydraulic manipulator" (case study for both EP/M015637/1 and EP/R02572X/1) at 18th IFAC Symposium on System Identification (SYSID-2018), 9-11 July, Stockholm, Sweden. Full list of authors: West, C., Wilson, E.D. (PDRA on EP/M015637/1), Clairon, Q. (PDRA on EP/M015637/1), Monk, S., Montazeri, A. (CI on EP/R02572X/1) and Taylor, C.J. (CI on EP/M015637/1 and EP/R02572X/1).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation by Dr A. Montazeri on unmanned aerial vehicles at 12th IFAC Symposium on Robot Control, Budapest, Hungary 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation by Dr. A. Montazeri on "Analysis and Design of a Multi-Channel Time-Varying Sliding Mode Controller and its Application in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles" at 12th IFAC Symposium on Robot Control (SYROCO 2018), 27-30 August 2018, Budapest, Hungary.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation by Dr Hamidreza Nemati on unmanned air vehicles at UKACC 12th International Conference on Control, Sheffield, UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation by Dr Hamidreza Nemati on "Design and Development of a Novel Controller for Robust Attitude Control of an Unmanned Air Vehicle for Nuclear Environments" at UKACC 12th International Conference on Control, 5-7 September, Sheffield, UK.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation by Dr M. Bandala on assisted teleoperation at International Conference on Advancements in Nuclear Instrumentation Measurement Methods and their Applications (ANIMMA-2019), Portoroz, Slovenia 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Abstract by Bandala, M., Nemati, H., Montazeri, A. and Taylor, C.J. on "Assisted teleoperation for a dual-manipulator robot and coordination with aerial vehicles for nuclear decommissioning applications" at International Conference on Advancements in Nuclear Instrumentation Measurement Methods and their Applications (ANIMMA-2019), 17-21 June, 2019, Portoroz, Slovenia.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.animma.com
 
Description Presentation by M. Cieslak at 7th International Conference on Radiation in Various Fields of Research, Herceg Novi, Montenegro 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Abstract by M. Cieslak, K.A.A Gamage and J. Taylor on "Study of modulation properties of tungsten based coded-aperture" (Paper ID: RAD7-286), to be presented by M. Cieslak at the 7th International Conference on Radiation in Various Fields of Research (RAD-2019), 10-14 June, Herceg Novi, Montenegro.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.rad2019.rad-conference.org
 
Description Presentation by Prof. James Taylor on nuclear robotics, Lancaster, UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Presentation on nuclear robotics control to an audience of family and friends of prospective university students. The presentation showed how cutting edge research, case studies for teaching, student projects and graduate careers can connect.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation by Prof. Peter Young on CAPTAIN Toolbox for Matlab at 18th IFAC Symposium on System Identification, Stockholm, Sweden 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation by Prof. Peter Young on "New developments in the CAPTAIN Toolbox for Matlab with case study examples", 18th IFAC Symposium on System Identification (SYSID-2018), 9-11 July, Stockholm, Sweden. One of the examples in the presentation related to Chicken Growth Curves (EP/M015637/1) and another robotics (EP/R02572X/1). Author list: Taylor, C.J. (CI for EP/M015637/1 and EP/R02572X/1), Young, P.C., Tych, W., Wilson, E.D. (PDRA for EP/M015637/1).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation by Thomas Burrell on cooperative robotic systems at UKACC 12th International Conference on Control, Sheffield, UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation by Thomas Burrell on "Towards a Cooperative Robotic System for Autonomous Pipe Cutting in Nuclear Decommissioning" at UKACC 12th International Conference on Control, 5-7 September, Sheffield, UK. Authors: Burrell, T., West, C., Monk, S., Montazeri, A. and Taylor, C.J.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation titled "MAT-CNN-SOPC: Motionless Analysis of Traffic Using Convolutional Neural Networks on System-On-a-Programmable-Chip" at AHS 2018 Conference in Edinburgh 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This presentation was very well received and sparked questions and discussions afterwards.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.ahs-conf.org/
 
Description Presentation titled "Real-Time Application Processing for FPGA-Based Resilient Embedded Systems in Harsh Environments" at AHS 2018 Conference in Edinburgh 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This presentation was very well received and sparked questions and discussion afterwards.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.ahs-conf.org/
 
Description Presentation titled "Sensors, SLAM and Long-term Autonomy: A Review" at AHS 2018 Conference in Edinburgh 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This presentation was very well received by the audience and sparked questions and discussions afterwards.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2018
URL http://www.ahs-conf.org/
 
Description Presentation titled "Weather Classification: A new multi-class dataset, data augmentation approach and comprehensive evaluations of Convolutional Neural Networks" at AHS 2018 Conference in Edinburgh 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This presentation was very well received and sparked questions and discussion afterwards.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.ahs-conf.org/
 
Description Presentation to IEEE Technical Committee on Robotics and Automation for Nuclear Facilities (RANUF) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited talk for IEEE Tech,. Committee RANUF forum on robotics for nuclear applications.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation to IEEE Technical Committee on Robotics and Automation for Nuclear Facilities (RANUF) at IROS 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited talk at the nuclear forum at IROS international robotics conference. This forum/workshop created by IEEE Tech Committee on Robotics and Automation for Nuclear Facilities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presented NCNR to the Royal Society 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Keynote talk at Royal Society event aimed at Industry Fellows and entreprreneurship. Held at Warwick Manufacturing Centre
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description RAS Poster 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Poster presentation at IEEE UK RAS 2019 conference.
Francesca Palermo, Bukeikhan Omarali, Maurizio Valle, Stefan Poslad, Kaspar Althoefer, and Ildar Farkhatdinov:
Telemanipulation setup with Interoperability Protocol.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description RollsRoyce NNB visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Meeting with Rolls Royce to discuss the use of robotics and sensor systems for the Small Modular Reactor concept they are developing. 2 visitors from Rolls Royce
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description TRANSCEND industrial roadshow 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Providing an overview of how activities could link across to the TRANSCEND grant
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk at the Humanoids Workshop for Grasping and Manipulation, Birmingham, Nov 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I gave a talk about policy search methods for grasping and manipulation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.roboticvision.org/workshop-towards-robust-grasping-and-manipulation-skills-for-humanoids...
 
Description Talk at the IAS workshop for "Learning Applications in Robotics" in Baden Baden 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Invited talk at the IAS (Intelligent Autonomous Systems) workshop "Learning Applicaitons" in Baden Baden.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://robotics.dei.unipd.it/laiar2018/
 
Description The Road to Intelligent Automation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics used to be something only featured in big budget block buster *sci-fi* movies.

However, AI is becoming commonplace, and while some within the business community are uneasy and alarmed by this, the businesses and sectors who are at the forefront of embracing AI are already seeing dramatic positive results.

Marc Hanheide, Professor of Intelligent Robotics & Interactive Systems in the School of Computer Science at the University of Lincoln will deliver his presentation and give you an insight into this horizon altering technology.

He will leave you in no doubt that AI will affect you and your business - it's up to you to ensure this is a positive affect!
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-road-to-intelligent-automation-tickets-49035138419
 
Description URM meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Discussion of the developing 'suitcase' project for the surveying of nuclear waste ILW stores using a crane mounted scanning system (the suitcase)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Video of quadruped Robotics Research at Edinburgh 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Created a video overview for general audience of the quadruped locomotion research at the University of Edinburgh.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FslB_VBYwQ&t=14s
 
Description Visit KUKA Robotics UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact On 11 JUL 2018, the robotic research team led by Dr. Guido Herrmann visited KUKA Robotics UK. The visit aimed to clarify the current KUKA-robot applications in the UK nuclear industry and explore the possibility to deploy KUKA light weight robots in nuclear decommissioning projects. KUKA Robotics introduced two different approaches to control different KUKA robots for nuclear decommissioning. Then, Bristol's research team had a discussion with the KUKA robotics engineers about the possible approaches to control KUKA light weight robots (LBR).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Visit of MP. Rt. Hon. Thangam Debbonaire - Parliamentary Fellow for Energy Industry) - report to parliament 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact House of Commons MP, Thangam Debbonaire, visited the Extreme Robotics Lab (PI Stolkin) at University of Birmingham. Stolkin gave a presentation on National Centre for Nuclear Robotics, and the ERL team then gave a live demo of advanced vision-guided autonomous robotic grasping and manipulation.

Debbonaire is the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) Fellow for the Energy Industry. This gives her a remit to investigate the energy industry and report back to parliament. Ms. Debbonaire was very impressed by our robotics work, and interested in how robotics could link to the energy sector. She said that she will be mentioning this work in her report to parliament. Ms. Debbonaire also expressed great interest in our educational outreach work, and intends to follow up on this with us for further discussions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Visit of Shadow-Robotics London with Final 4th Year MEng Group and 3rd Year Project Students 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Visit of Shadow-Robotics (Richard Walker, Managerial Director) in London, 4 March 2019: A final, fourth year student group of five, a third year project student and a PhD-student at the University of Bristol, visited with me Shadow Robotics to gain further knowledge about the haptics enabled teleoperation system of Shadow-Robotics, their robotic hand and their involvement in nuclear robotics. This was an excellent opportunity for the final, fourth year student group as it is working on a teleoperation system in their final year project. The third year student is developing a tendon driven robotic hand. The knowledge exchange with Shadow Robotics can lead to further discussions in the area of teleoperation and hand control. (Reported for EPSRC's NCNR and RAIN)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Won/led Nuclear workshop at European Robotics Forum 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact We were competitively awarded (peer review) a prestigious workshop at European Robotics Forum. This attracted international speakers and a large audience. It is very difficult to win such workshops at ERF. This was first time that nuclear has been a workshop theme, and we were then able to win a nuclear workshop successively in 2017 and 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Workshop Talk: Controlling Robots for Safe Physical Interaction 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Gave a talk at The Royal Society of Edinburgh Scotland-China Research Workshop: Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. This led to engagement with Chinese academics and a funding application for a joint Scotland-China research project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.rse.org.uk/event/scotland-china-research-workshop-robotics-and-artificial-intelligence/
 
Description Workshop Talk: Physical Human-Robot Interaction with Multi-Limbed and Legged Robots 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Gave talk titled "Physical Human-Robot Interaction with Multi-Limbed and Legged Robots" at IROS 2018 Workshop on HUMAN-ROBOT COOPERATION AND COLLABORATION IN MANIPULATION: ADVANCEMENTS AND CHALLENGES.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.roboticvision.org/humanrobotcooperationirosws/
 
Description Youtube Video Immersive Tele-operation for Nuclear Decommissioning 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact BRL published a Youtube video on their channel showing a demonstration of the lab's work on immersive tele-operation for nuclear decommissioning.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://youtu.be/ahL-Cw305ck
 
Description Youtube Video Time Lapse: Building a Simulated Nuclear Facility 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact BRL published a Youtube video that shows a time lapse of how the lab built their simulated nuclear facility, a test bed for research on using robots for nuclear decommissioning.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://youtu.be/1QOWcinPT54