Robotics for Extreme Environments Lab

The Robotics for Extreme Environments Laboratory (REEL) in Cleator Moor, Cumbria, was set up in 2017 to enable close collaboration with Sellafield and the nuclear supply chain in west Cumbria. In 2022 the lab moved to the RAICo1 building in Whitehaven, Cumbria.  RAICo1 is a collaborative facility that has been set up as a partnership between the University of Manchester, UKAEA, NNL and Sellafield Ltd that will allow researchers from academia to work directly with robotics experts from industry and enable researchers to address nuclear decommissioning challenges.  RAICo1 offers access to mock-ups and robotic equipment to enable researchers to address nuclear decommissioning challenges. For example, equipment that is available includes an array of submersible vehicles and underwater manipulators, together with a pond equipped with an underwater and above water Vicon positioning system, where aquatic based systems can be tested. We also have various terrestrial robots, including wheeled, tracked and legged platforms manufactured by Clearpath, AgileX, Unitree and ICE9, together with Kinova and Kuka manipulators. In addition to the robots we have a range of sensors including thermal cameras, radiation detectors and simulated radiation sources and detectors that are ideal for testing robot autonomy in radiation environments.

REEL is a regional node of the recently funded National Nuclear User Facility, NNUF-Hot Robotics programme that enables users from industry and academia to use facilities as well as loan cutting-edge robotics equipment. Find out more information on NNUF here.



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