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Robotics Challenge 2017

We, at the IAEA, are constantly looking for emerging and innovative technologies that improve the verification work carried out in the field by safeguards inspectors. Our Technology Foresight team at the Division of Technical and Scientific Services (SGTS) within the Department of Safeguards is hosting a Robotics challenge to help us find ways to improve the working conditions of the inspectors and enhance the consistency of the IAEA’s measurements.

The challenge

Conducting in-field inspections forms the core of the IAEA’s nuclear verification activities and equipping inspectors with the appropriate tools is key to effective nuclear safeguards. However, some of the most common tasks undertaken by IAEA inspectors involve making repetitive measurements in areas that can be difficult to access, or with elevated radiation levels. We believe this is a domain where robotics could play a positive role.

Category 1: Small Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV)

Inspectors frequently use a small handheld optical instrument called the Improved Cerenkov Viewing Device (ICVD) to confirm the presence of spent fuel stored underwater. The IAEA would like to mount this device inside a small robotized floating platform, which would autonomously propel itself across the surface of the pond, while stabilizing the ICVD in a vertical position.

Category 2: Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV)

Inspectors conduct a routine task that includes counting containers, recording their ID tags and performing gamma measurements on some of them. The IAEA would like to identify small robotized rolling platforms able to assist the inspector by performing the following tasks: moving autonomously across a storage area, counting items of a specific geometry, recording their ID tags, and carrying specific IAEA instrument payloads

Prizes and incentives

Do you have a solution for any of the two categories? Register and learn more about how to participate.

The best technical proposals will be eligible to receive financial incentives to participate in the Demonstration Week hosted in Australia.

Prize money will be awarded as follows:

USV 1st Prize: € 5 000   |   USV 2nd Prize: €3 500
UGV 1st Prize: € 5 000   |   UGV 2nd Prize: €3 500

The remaining challenge participants with compliant technical proposals will be welcome to participate in the Demonstration Week at their own expense.

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