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Bid to use robots for nuclear decommissioning

A new project aims to explore introducing autonomous robots into the nuclear decommissioning process.

The project is a collaboration between researchers at the UK’s Surrey Technology for Autonomous Systems and Robotics (STAR) laboratory at the University of Surrey in England, nuclear company Sellafield Ltd and the National Nuclear Laboratory.

The STAR Lab is a pioneer in industrial robotics research and believes it could “greatly improve the nuclear decommissioning process with the use of high-performing visual imaging systems”.

The STAR Lab is embarking on a new called Automated Robot Waste Processing which aims to utilise robotic systems for recognising, manipulating and storing items of decommissioning waste.

The laboratory believes that “the introduction of autonomous robotics to this area promises much greater efficiency and reliability for organisations and governments”.

Professor Yang Gao, who leads the Surrey team, said: “This piece of research has the potential to shape the future development of the use of autonomous robotics in the field of nuclear decommissioning. It highlights the inefficiencies in the current decommissioning process and provides valuable solutions as to what can be done to streamline the decommissioning process with the use of high performing visual imaging systems.”

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