Robots are increasingly being used to perform complex and, above all, dangerous tasks for humans. This time, scientists unveiled a machine that will help clean radioactive waste under water.
The A2I2, or Autonomous Aquatic Inspection and Intervention, is a new robot – the result of work by Rovco scientists, which includes specialists from Forth Engineering, D-RisQ, the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), Thales UK and the University of Manchester (UK). With the SubSlam system, the robot can transmit 3D images of spent nuclear fuel tanks, allowing its operators to decide if appropriate actions need to be taken.
The biggest challenge in developing remotely controlled robots is the delay in information transfer, which increases as the distance between the operator and the device increases. To minimize the risks, the A2I2 has been equipped with a number of autonomous systems that allow it to operate independently and avoid collisions, but the operator retains full control of the equipment.