Continuous Autonomous Radiometric Monitoring Assistant

CARMA 2 is the next generation in the research CARMA platform series of autonomous monitoring robotic systems designed for the nuclear industry. Primarily envisioned to continuously inspect a map of the ground for radioactive contamination from fixed or migrating sources. 

CARMA 2 uses the latest robust robotic platform, integrating the Clearpath Jackal combined with a series of off-the-shelf components. The on-board 3D mapping uses ROS architecture, in combination with;

  • 2x 20m LIDARs from Hokuyo
  • 1x depth Orbec cameras
  • 2x Thermo Fisher Scientific DP6 & Radeye SX

Click here to download the CARMA 2 technical sheet.

This Sellafield Ltd sponsored project was originally designed as a low cost prototype. It was initially deployed in December 2017 and again in January 2018 before the platform was designed to be more robust and ruggedized. A version of CARMA was entered into the IAEA’s 2017 Robotics Challenge for Small Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs).

In May 2019, the CARMA platform successfully completed the first ever autonomous radiometric survey of a former alpha laboratory on the Sellafield Ltd site. Image courtesy of Sellafield Ltd.

Given the success of CARMA, we have a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Nuvia Ltd to look at commercialising the platform. We are also developing a version to conduct outdoor radiometric surveys, in collaboration with Sellafield Ltd.

CARMA 2 on deployment in May 2019 conducting the first autonomous survey of an alpha laboratory on the Sellafield site

CAD image of the outdoor version of CARMA that is currently in development with Sellafield Ltd.

Real-time radiometric data imposed onto a 2D map of the environment and deployment of the CARMA platform inside a legacy facility on the Sellafield site

November 2020 CARMA project update. The video showcases the updated design of the platform, map generation, obstacle detection and avoidance, path planning using a custom user interface. Validation and benchmarking is currently underway in simulation and on the physical platform.   

Initial deployment for CARMA 1 prototype at Sellafield in 2017. Video courtesy of Sellafield Ltd.

Overview of the Continuous Autonomous Radiation Monitoring Assistance (CARMA) robot, seen here being demonstrated at our Robotics for Extreme Environments Laboratory, REEL, in west Cumbria. Also included is footage from CARMA’s recent deployment where it conducted the first ever autonomous radiological survey of an alpha laboratory on the Sellafield site.

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