DESIGN - OC - Remote Handling...  Sellafield requires a dextrous remote handling capability to conduct
DESIGN - OC - Remote Handling...  Sellafield requires a dextrous remote handling capability to conduct

DESIGN - OC - Remote Handling...  Sellafield requires a dextrous remote handling capability to conduct

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  • Sellafield requires a dextrous remote handling capability to conduct safe, cost efficient exploration and characterisation of nuclear facilities. Snake-arm robots are general purpose delivery tools for confined space working in hazardous areas.

    Nuclear decommissioning case study: SellafieldSnake-arm robot capability demonstration

    DEFINE

    Reaching the unreachable

    ObjectivesTo demonstrate snake-arm robots in an unstructured, unknown environment performing:

    Visual inspection Remote handling Radiological inspection Sampling loose material Water-jetting

    Two snake-arms and a range of toolsTwo 2.5m long, 100mm diameter, self-supporting snake-arm robots were constructed. One snake-arm robot was equipped with a water-jetting head. The second was equipped with a three degree-of-freedom wrist-and-gripper with integrated camera and lights.

    The generic gripper interface allowed a range of tools to be deployed. All tool services were routed inside the snake-arm.

    DESIGN

    DELIVEROperationSnake-arm nose-following allows the operator to fly the tool using the tip mounted cameras, with the arm following. This intuitive control mode allows the operator to snake between pipes and into vessels.

    All tasks were completed in under 4 hours. Arm exchange took less than 15 minutes. The time to change between vertical and horizontal deployment was 45 minutes.

    ConclusionThe trials demonstrated the versatility, rapid deployment and intuitive operation of snake-arm technology. The slender, lightweight arm is a safe, cost effective, generic deployment method for a range of tools in hazardous, confined spaces.

    Snaking between pipes to swab a pipe: vertical deployment

    Sampling inside a pipe inside a vessel inside the cell: vertical deployment

    Inspection inside a vessel inside the cell: vertical deployment

    Water jetting: horizontal deployment

    DeploymentThe Rail&Rotate linear introduction axis allows the snake-arm to nose-follow into the cell, using either horizontal or vertical penetrations.

    Radiological probe

    Water-jetting head

    Gripper with integrated cameraSwabbing tool

    Zoom camera with lights

    EnvironmentThe Sellafield site contains a wide range of ponds, vaults and cells, often containing unknown radiation risks. Manual entry is not appropriate. A mock-up was built representing a dry processing cell containing pipework and vessels. Access to the cell was via 150mm diameter, 1m long, horizontal and vertical penetrations.

  • OCRobotics Unit 5, Abbey Wood Business Park, Emma-Chris Way, Filton, Bristol, BS34 7JU, UK

    Tel: +44 (0)117 314 4700 Email: contactus@ocrobotics.com

    www.ocrobotics.com

    OC Robotics, Explorer, the OC logo, snake-arm robots, Rail&Rotate and Reaching the unreachable are trademarks of OC Robotics. Copyright 2012 OC Robotics. All Rights Reserved

    Robots for confined spaces

    OC RoboticsOC Robotics are world leaders in confined space automation - our snake-arm robots are designed specifically for remote handling operations within confined or hazardous spaces.

    The Explorer catalogueThe Explorer range of snake-arm robots are general purpose tools which occupy the mid-range for diameter, reach, payload, curvature and precision.

    The catalogue shows all of the available configurations and can be downloaded from our website.

    Bespoke solutionsConfined spaces are nearly all different. The work to be completed may involve a wide range of tools.

    OC Robotics delivers bespoke solutions to clients across a wide range of industries. Our engineers focus on solving customer problems, with solutions including snake-arm robots as well as other engineering and robotics.

    Snake-Arm SimulatorDownload the free version of Snake-Arm Simulator from our website to test drive a snake-arm and experience the intuitive nose-following control first hand.

    We offer consultancy services to analyse your requirements using our proprietary tools.