Researchers have secured £1.1 million in grant funding to develop artificial intelligence systems to enable self-learning robots to be deployed in place of humans to hazardous nuclear sites. It is estimated that up to £200 billion will be spent on the clean-up and decommissioning of nuclear waste over the next 100 years. Now, a team of computer scientists from the University of Lincoln will create machine learning algorithms to increase capabilities in several crucial areas of nuclear robotics, including waste handling, cell decommissioning and site monitoring with mobile robots. Machine learning is an application of artificial intelligence (AI) which enables systems to collect data and use it to inform automated decision-making and make improvements based on experience without being explicitly programmed. The Lincoln team will create algorithms for vision-guided robot grasping, manipulation and cutting, mobile robot navigation, and outdoor mapping and navigation. The aim is to build systems which can use machine learning to adapt to the unique conditions of nuclear sites, including locations contaminated by radiation. The Lincoln project is part of the National Centre for Nuclear Robotics (NCNR), a multi-disciplinary EPSRC RAI (Robotics and Artificial Intelligence) Hub led by the University of Birmingham, and also involves Queen Mary University of London, the University of West England, University of Bristol, University of Edinburgh, and Lancaster University.
Lincoln University 4th May 2018 read more »