Robotics and Remote Systems Division
Message for the Chair – 2023 Winter Newsletter
This year has been marked by a dynamic resurgence. Emerging from the lull caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the nuclear robotics community has reinvigorated its vitality through a range of internal and external initiatives. RRSD has been at the heart of this transformative journey.
Notably, the DOE-EM has breathed new life into its robotics programs, particularly those aimed at addressing nuclear waste cleanup missions. Innovative projects like the Robotic Hot Cell for nuclear waste cleanup, the Mobile Robotic Platform for geological surveillance, and the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for nuclear waste facility inspection have demonstrated success in rapidly prototyping advanced robotic solutions for remote and unstructured environments. Additionally, recent advancements in digital technologies and AI are opening up exciting possibilities for the integration of robotics and digital twin technologies across various sectors of the nuclear industry.
In response to these emerging trends, RRSD has fortified its leadership foundation. We have successfully welcomed new active members to the executive committee and established working committees to harness diverse expertise. The Program Development Committee, for instance, has taken the lead in advocating the robotic digital twin paradigm within the nuclear community by organizing workshops and conducting gap analyses. Moreover, during the 2023 ANS annual meeting, we hosted an executive panel session on robotics, aptly titled ‘Robots are Coming!’ This groundbreaking event brought together nuclear and industrial leaders to share their perspectives on the role of robotics in the present and future society.
RRSD has remained proactive in its publication efforts. The RRSD Publication Committee has orchestrated a special issue in the ANS Nuclear Science and Engineering journal titled “Robotics in Nuclear Cleanup.” In this issue, we eagerly solicit original contributions showcasing complete cases of robotic system deployments for nuclear applications.
In this era of digital technologies and the prevalence of ChatGPT, our expectations for robotics have never been higher. One of the paramount lessons we’ve learned from the past is the adverse impact of isolation and compartmentalization. Building on our current momentum, RRSD is planning a host of future activities, including a topical meeting and webinar series in 2024, and enhanced support for student programs. We recognize that a successful future is incomplete without the active involvement of the RRSD community. Together, we aim to shape the promising path ahead.
Young Soo Park
ANS Annual Meeting June 9th to 12th in Las Vegas, NV