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ERF2016 Workshop on Robotics for Nuclear Applications

23rd March 2016

Session Title

Robotics for Nuclear Applications


Motivation and Objectives

Nuclear decommissioning is potentially the biggest and most impactful application for real-world service robotics in the coming few years, with huge societal importance.


In UK alone, cleaning up the past two-thirds of a century of nuclear waste represents the largest environmental remediation project in the whole of Europe, estimated to need €120-300billion over next 100 years. Worldwide decommissioning costs are of the order €1trillion. At least 20% of this work must be done by robots since the materials are too hazardous for humans, however the robotics technologies that are needed have not yet been developed.


Almost every kind of robotics is needed (grasping and manipulation of a huge variety of materials, ground vehicles, flying robots, snake-bots, SLAM, vision, multi-sensor fusion, human-robot interfaces) often in highly unstructured, cluttered and uncertain environments, which may be chemically, thermally and radiologically harsh, and often with very limited communications bandwidth between safe areas and the remote robot.

Agenda of the workshop

16.15 – 16:20    Introduction by the organisers

16.20 – 16.30   UK challenges and activities (Jeff Kuo, National Nuclear Lab)

16.30 – 16.40   US challenges and activities (Rich Voyles, Purdue University & Rod Rimando US Department of Energy)

16.40 – 16.50   French challenges and activities (Philippe Garrec, CEA)

16.50 – 17.00   UK-Japan collaboration (Simon Watson, University of Manchester)

17.00 – 17.10    RoMaNS EU nuclear consortium (Rustam Stolkin, U of Birmingham)

17:10 – 17:35    Round table panel discussion

17.35 – 17.45    Conclusions for a working paper

Rustam STOLKIN and Ales LEONARDIS, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, ( , (

Jeff KUO, National Nuclear Lab, United Kingdom, (

Mathieu GROSSARD, CEA, France, (

Speakers to prepare 10 minutes talks, strictly to time.

Prospective participants are also invited to email questions for the panel discussion in advance to Rustam Stolkin .

What should participants prepare?

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