VIrtual REmote RObotics for Radiometric Sorting (VIRERO)

Project description

Subproject: Immersive and Self-Optimizing Teleoperation System and Autonomous Robot Capabilities (15S9422C)

Within the project, robots and radiological measurement technologies will be developed to handle radioactive waste materials teleoperational as well as semi-autonomous. The goal of the technology development reaches from the disassemble and sorting of nuclear waste, with a high dose rate like filter cartridges and filter bags, over the post conditioning of packed radioactive wastes, up to a radiological sorting for an optimized approval procedure. Conventional Systems exhibit a lower flexibility due to an adaption to different operating conditions. The breaking up and cutting of packed waste materials as well as the high individual characteristics of waste parts are a challenge for these kinds of systems. The usage of industrial robots, innovative sensors in the field of robotic and nuclear engineering as well as an immersive, self-optimizing teleoperation technique has the potential to solve this challenge.

The aim of the project is the development of an adaptive teleoperation which fulfils the requirement for working in a nuclear environment. Necessary thereby are the development and fusion of a radiological and spatial characterization. Autonomous, self-optimizing systems capabilities help to reduce the tasks performed by Operators successively. The occupational safety will be improved on this way because the staff is not exposed to radiation during the handling and sorting of nuclear waste. An immersive and self-optimizing teleoperation system, the spatial characterization of high individual waste parts as well as autonomous, self-optimizing robotic skills for handling and sorting the waste, are in the research focus of the Institute for Factory Automation and Production Systems (FAPS).

The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within FORKA (Research for the decommissioning of nuclear facilities).