What properties should have robots for new nuclear industry ?

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TG relation: Harsh environment robotics 

Areas mainly addressed: Maintenance and Inspection, Robotics and AI/Big Data Value, Autonomy, Collaborative Robots and cloud robotics, Control technology including virtualisation and edge/cloud, Robotics for nuclear industry 

Main questions to be answered: 

· What robotic applications are perspective in future nuclear industry ?dustry 

· What properties should have robots for the new nuclear industry ? 

· How perspective is autonomy or AI in the loop in robotics for nuclear industry ? 

WS Description: This workshop supports the Harsh Environment Robotics TG, following successful workshops at ERF 2016 – 2022 (64 participants in 2022). 

There is a strong interest from again growing nuclear industry to extend use of robots in extreme environments where it is unsafe to use human workers. This couples together a very wide range of robotics research with a strong industrial economic demand, and major societal and ethical importance. 

Our motivation is to continue the strong ERF communication between roboticists and the senior representatives and policy makers of nuclear industry. 

Cases like Chernobyl and Fukushima, are showing that abilities of present-day robots are still significantly limited. 

That is why sharing of experience about successful solutions, information about perspective new technologies and identification of new gaps for research will be the main outcome of the WS. 

Intended outcome: Novel format (e.g. interactive matchmaking session for technologies and applications), Workshop discussion topics of common interest, success stories, use cases, etc, Workshop covering material new to ERF that the Robotics community should engage with, Workshop expected to create a roadmap or white paper, Workshop on recent developments in technology or applications 

Approach: WS is planned for 80min 

The workshop will start with 3-4 presentations . The aim of these presentations is: 

– to identify current problems in nuclear industry which could be solved by new robotic technologies (presented by expert from nuclear industry) 

– to show some ways of up to date robotic solutions (presenters from industrial and research institutions) 

– to show possibilities of new robotic technologies comprising AI, multisensoric perception, IOT, etc. 

This should act as „food for thought“ and start off the discussion. 

Then audience will be split into the following subgroups according to application areas, i.e. newly buildt nuclear power plants (NPPs), decommissioned NPPs and accidents in NPPs. 

Each subgroup will put together the main problems and gaps for future research and also for MAR preparation. 

The following panel discussion will go deeper into the problem and provide certain synergy and cross fertilisation of subgroups. We will also utilize the possibility to bring together speakers and audience from both industry and academia/research via internal communication in our TG. 

The last part of discussion will be dedicated to ideas for the next activities of TG „Harsh Environment Robotics“ 


– 00:00 – 00:05 Introduction by the moderators 

– 00:05 – 00:45 Short presentations 

– 00:45 – 00:55 Subgroups discussion 

– 00:55 – 01:15 Panel discussion 

– 01:15 – 01:20 Conclusions for the roadmapping process under Horizon Europe and the next activities of our TG 

Contributors: Joel Vanden Bosch (Cybernetix) – confirmed 

Rustam Stolkin (University of Birmingham) – confirmed 

Steve Shackleford (National Nuclear Lab) – invited 

Peter Gerhart (JAVYS) – confirmed 


· Ladislav Vargovcik, ladislav.vargovcik@tuke.sk, Technical University of Kosice

· Rustam Stolkin, R.Stolkin@bham.ac.uk, University of Birmingham 

· JoelVanden Bosch, jvandenbosch@alsymex-alcen.com, ALSYMEX 

· Stephen Shackleford, stephen.g.shackleford@uknnl.com, National Nuclear Laboratory

Event Timeslots (1)

Room 200 – Floor 2
14 March - Specific operating environments
Ladislav Vargovcik