Robots are capable of working in extremes that humans find impossible or too dangerous. Lancaster is helping to create a safer future in the workplace.

We are developing intelligent control systems for robots. These are for use in unstructured, uncertain and hostile environments. There is a focus on robots for use in the nuclear industry. The BROKK-40 is a next-generation mobile robotic platform. We are developing this in collaboration with National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) and Sellafield Ltd. It has been used at the NNL's Workington laboratory for trials in relation to a Sellafield Ltd material discrimination project.

The base system is a BROKK-40 decommissioning robot, consisting of:

  • a moving vehicle with a single five degree of freedom manipulator
  • hydraulic tank
  • a remote control device

Attached to the BROKK are two HydroLek seven-function actuated manipulators. Each has six rotary joints and a gripper. The present focus is to utilise the system's dual manipulators for research into both teleoperated and semi-autonomous tasks in the nuclear sector. These could include such tasks as remote pipe cutting and welding.