The central objective of the TELEMAN 50 MESSINA project is the development of a robust mobile, articulated multi-body (4 modules) vehicle, suited for nuclear plant indoor operations. The system will be able to climb up and down staircases, turn on stair landings, locate and cross obstacles and avoid collisions, and it is to have an increased payload volume compared to any equivalent mono-body machine. Equipped with local sensors, locomotion and navigation controllers, and a powerful man-machine interface, the system offers to the operator reliable graphic assistance for full teleoperation.
A robust mobile, articulated multibody (4 modules) vehicle (MESSINA) is being developed which is suitable for nuclear plant indoor operations.
Based on a study of the real demands of nuclear installations in Europe, the demonstrator's dimensions, degrees of freedom, and principles of movement and stair climbing have been decided; the design and fabrication phases are in progress. Documents specifying the locomotion controller (LC) software and hardware (using the Texas Instruments TMS 320C40) have been provided, and the LC control algorithms are in the testing phase on a 3-module mock up. Kinematic and dynamic simulations are about to be finalized. The navigation controller (NC), based on TELEMAN TM15 assistant navigation block (ANB) results, is mainly composed of a perception unit, a motion generator, an executive controller and man machine interface (MMI) software. The functional architecture of the NC and the hardware requirements have been decided upon. For the purpose of detecting and avoiding obstacles and perceiving the environment, appropriate ultrasonic sensors have been developed and selected. The specification of the MMI has been completed.
This project is exploiting results from the earlier TELEMAN projects TM15 - A.N.B on navigation control, TM14 - TALOS for the basic concept of the multi-body vehicle, and TM8 on kinematic and dynamic simulation and umbilical handling. The project still has some way to go before completion, so exploitation plans can not be detailed at this stage and will depend on final results. Nevertheless, the involvement of key potential users from different types of nuclear installations ensures the wide industrial relevance of the work.
Work to be done
- Performance of a system design study considering the recommendations of the end users. The result will be the required technical specification for the 4-module demonstrator machine, including approval of the interfaces and a testing and operating plan.
- Performance of comprehensive kinematic and dynamic simulations of the 2- and 4-module vehicles.
- Development, fabrication and procurement of the key-components for the demonstrator vehicle: (a) undercarriages of the four modules, (b) vehicle segments with coupling elements, (c) umbilical management system, (d) locomotion controller, (e) navigation controller, (f) local perception sensors, (g) man-machine interface.
- Integration of all pre-tested sub-systems on the MESSINA 4-module demonstrator
- Final validation of the assembled MESSINA system in the laboratories
- Field testing of MESSINA in a realistic test environment considering the recommendations of the end users
- Production of test reports, video documentation of the test cases and suggestions for further development steps of a mobile system.
- Complex motion generation for the multi-body mobile robot will be performed in collaboration with the Technical University of Lodz, Poland.
In addition, final year student research projects will be carried out at the Universities of Pisa, KU Leuven, and the Politecnica of Madrid.
A full scale, 4-module demonstrator vehicle will be pre-tested and validated in the laboratories. Final validation tests and field tests will be performed in a representative industrial environment and in a nuclear power plant at Caorso, Italy. The test programme will be according to the recommendations of the end users. Comprehensive documentation of its behaviour and the experience gained during the tests will be provided.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
DA1 5PY Dartford
92084 Paris La Defense