There are obvious dangers to sending humans to inspect nuclear sites, especially if those nuclear sites might be leaking, have leaked, or are hazardous. Granted there are safety measures in place to try and protect humans who do these jobs, but it is clear that robots are definitely the way to go.

However robots can only do so much on their own, which is why researchers are developing self-learning robots in an attempt to replace human inspectors when it comes to site inspections. The team consists of computer scientists from the University of Lincoln who have recently managed to secure £1.1 million in grant funding towards their research which involves the creation of algorithms that will allow robots to adapt to the landscape.

For example one of the robots they’ve developed involves the use of a bi-manual arm. This arm can be mounted onto a mobile platform and be operated remotely by humans, but at the same time it can also be allowed to operate by itself for certain tasks so that its human operators can do something else.

According to Professor Gerhard Neumann who is one of the leads on the project, “Clean-up and decommissioning of nuclear waste is one of the biggest challenges for our generation and the next, and the predicted costs are enormous: up to £200 billion over the next 100 years. Recent disaster situations such as Fukushima have shown the crucial importance of robotics technology for monitoring and intervention, which is missing up to date, making our work even more vital.”

Filed in Robots. Read more about AI (Artificial Intelligence).

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