The TELEMAN 46 LACWAP research machine project aims to demonstrate a modular self-constructing long reach arm carrier structure with an advanced tele-operated light weight manipulator and gripper for intervention tasks in nuclear environments where access is only possible through restricted apertures. Such is the case in nuclear fuel reprocessing plants, where sealed chemical process cells can not be entered by human operators. The main objectives are to develop:
- mission planning and preparation software to simulate telerobotic tasks with detailed CAD models prior to execution;
- the self-constructing mechanism consisting of a shuttle which travels along a rack mounted on the modular long reach arm;
- the on-board vision system;
- the advanced lightweight gripper and manipulator;
- the gamma radiation imaging system to supply radiation field data to the CAD model.
A modular self constructing long reach arm carrier structure with an advanced teleoperated light weight manipulator and gripper (LACWAP) is being developed for intervention tasks in nuclear environments where access is only possible through restricted apertures.
An example test mission for a typical reprocessing cell has been defined, and the Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique (CEA) Pyramid teleoperator and work environment simulation package has been used to design the combination of modular beam, joint, and support components which will be needed to accomplish the mission. The structure has been designed to include T-junctions so that additional tools and work pieces can be stored for subsequent retrieval and use during successive stages of the test mission. The modular structure is currently being developed and constructed in parallel with the work on the light weight manipulator and gripper and the sensor and control systems. The chosen mission will include surface inspection, a gamma radiation survey, and a force controlled manipulation task. A full scale model of the work cell is being constructed at Cogema to allow testing of the integrated system.
The project is still in its early development stage, and is exploiting a number of building blocks from the earlier TELEMAN projects TM18 (force-reflecting gripper and manipulator) and TM22 (gamma radiation imaging system) to enhance the capabilities of a modular long reach arm developed in an independent feasibility study. Exploitation in enclosed, confined work cells such as those found in nuclear fuel re-processing plants is assured by the participation of Cogema in the project.
Work to be done
The following modules will be developed and integrated:
- Mission preparation software
- Long Arm Carrier adaptation
- Man machine interface
- Prototype gripper with bilateral force reflective controller
- Vision system
- Gamma radiation imaging camera
- CAD model integrating the teleoperated robot, the work environment, and the gamma camera data
- Mockup of the fuel reprocessing cell
In addition, final year student research projects will be carried out at the Universities of Ioannina, ULB Brussels, and University College Dublin.
The integrated systems will be tested in the specially constructed mock-up of the fuel reprocessing cell. The long arm carrier will proceed into the cell, self-constructing its own structure by means of the shuttle mechanism. Then the shuttle will transport into the cell the vision system, the radiation imaging camera, and the manipulator and gripper system which will be demonstrated performing a range of inspection and intervention tasks under teleoperated force-reflecting control.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
2628 CD Delft
3235 XK Rockanje