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News - January 2016

Submerged trials successful

The LaserSnake project achieved a significant milestone this month – successful submerged trials of the Snake-arm robot system. Supported by the SR&DP team at Sellafield Ltd the system was extensively tested at their on-site underwater test facility. During the three week trial the system demonstrated line scanning and Cartesian motion used for non-destructive testing. The OCR designed pneumatic gripper tool was used to repeatedly retrieve and place a number objects including ropes and tubes – all without disturbing sediment.

The modular LaserSnake system can be deployed horizontally or vertically. Vertical deployment is either from a platform or a crane dependent of the specific tasks and operating environment. For these trials platform deployment was chosen.

Craig Wilson, Project Lead, commented “the speed and ease of build was really impressive – the whole system was working within 24 hours. The pick and place exercises delivered. Being able to return to exactly the same location time and again is a great feature”. Rhys Roberts, a decommissioning project manager explained “Our drive to support the deployment of these novel tools is based on an eye for the future as well as immediate benefits”.

The success of the trials was also featured in Issue 3 of the Sellafield Magazine.