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News - March 2013

LaserSnake2 Press Release

The LaserSnake2 project is an £7.7m collaborative R&D project led by OC Robotics that will run from 2013 to 2016. The Technology Strategy Board, together with the Department for Energy and Climate Change, and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, is providing a grant of around £5.8 million to the project consortium. The primary objectives are:

  1. The development of long reach snake-arm robots for hazardous and confined spaces, both in air and under water.
  2. The combination of snake-arms and mobile robots to create a mobile platform for exploration of complex spaces.
  3. The development of laser cutting optics for safe, remote cutting in air and in water, particularly focused on nuclear decommissioning.
  4. Consideration of the regulatory and certification issues associated with tele-operated delivery of laser cutting solutions for the nuclear sector.

The technology has huge potential outside of the nuclear sector - for instance, inspection and maintenance of high value assets in the oil & gas and construction sectors, and working within confined spaces such as aircraft wings for assembly and maintenance. For this reason the research will focus on the underlying technical challenges including software control, electronics, process development, and mechanism design. The project will conclude with onsite demonstrations.

The success of the project will be measured both in terms of progress made towards developing a tool kit for the nuclear sector, and also the exploration of non-nuclear markets.

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