RAIN was a community of enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and motivated individuals working together to solve some of the most challenging robotics problems in the world.

At its core were ten research institutions, led by the University of Manchester, each bringing their own expertise.

RAIN: Robotics and AI in Nuclear

The Robotics and Artificial Intelligence for Nuclear (RAIN) Hub was a 5-year UKRI funded project that focused on robotics and AI solutions to address challenges in the nuclear industry. The project was made up of 5 working groups: Remote Inspection, Remote Handling, Human Robotic Interaction, Standardisation and Verification & Autonomy.

The RAIN Hub brought together eight teams of robotic and nuclear engineering experts from The University of Manchester (project lead), Lancaster University, The University of Oxford, The University of Liverpool, The University of Sheffield, The University of Bristol, The University of Leeds, The University of Reading, The University of Nottingham, Newcastle University and RACE (Robotics and Remote Applications in Challenging Environments).

RAIN developed a reputation for enthusiastic and use-case-driven research and deployments with an approachable and collaborative team.

RAIN had the following aims:

  • Enhance connectivity between research and industry
  • Measurably improve and deploy RAI technology in nuclear scenarios
  • Undertake world-leading RAI research
  • Curate a network that fosters awareness, curiosity and adoption of RAIN technology in nuclear

RAIN fostered working relationships and continuing deployment plans with UK end-users including Sellafield Ltd, Rolls Royce, Atomic Weapons Establishment, EDF Energy, United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd and Magnox.

Working Groups

The project was made up of 5 working groups:

Remote Inspection, Remote Handling, Human Robotic Interaction, Standardisation and Verification & Autonomy.

Human-Robot Interaction

The HRI working group focused on the interactions with robotics and autonomous systems such as trustworthiness, perception and communication aswell as explorations of the HRI systems including virtual and augmentedreality, teleoperation, haptics, shared control and testing methods.


The Standardisation working group focused on bringing academic and industrialexperts together to create new baselines in specific areas such asoperator-facing human-machine interfaces (HMI), extensible modular softwaresystems, and nuclear tele-manipulation systems.

Remote Handling

The Remote Handling Working Group developed technology to take hands out of gloveboxes, making nuclear decommissioning safer, faster and cheaper.

Verification & Autonomy

The V&A working group are focused on engagement withregulators and work that can be achieved through simulation. Including the assurance of autonomous Systems for safe use in hazardous environments.

Remote Inspection

The Remote Inspection Working Group (RIWG) focuses on developingrobotic and AI technology for both the characterisation of unknown nuclearenvironments, and change or anomaly detection of previously characterised environments.


Annual Reports

Webinars & Videos

Starting in April 2020, the RAIN webinar series attracted audiences spanning the academic and industrial sectors. With topics including resilient machine learning, acoustic sencing and enhanced wireless control, the sessions helped to continue engagement while in-person contact was still challenging.

Webinars and videos are available on the RAIN Youtube channel.

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