Robotics and Remote Systems Division

Current Newsletter

Summer 2022 Newsletter

It has been a while since our last newsletter. The COVID days are finally getting over, and we are ready to get more active with face-to-face engagements. Our RRSD community started from the need for remote handling systems for hot cell applications and later to innovations in robotics technology for broader unstructured hazardous environments. Even during the COVID years, our RRSD tradition of technical innovation and deployment applications has been carried on with some significant milestone activities. We have successfully revived the R&RS topical meeting, opened a new RRSD-RAIN joint workshop, and our members are getting involved in renewed interest activities in DOE-EM and international communities. Now we hope to look forward to ever vibrant RRSD activities.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the last DESD/RRSD joint topical meeting in December 2021, the event, the first time it has been held in 6 years, was a big success. It drew participation from around the world with 15 sessions, and 52 contributing papers and panel sessions, and showcased the notable R&RS activities around the world in the recent years. The next topical meeting is scheduled for 2024.

There was a RRSD-RAIN joint workshop on robotic digital twin in February this year. The R&RS community is imbued with greater opportunity to amplify and accelerate the innovation and application with the new digital transformations. Taking advantage of lower robot price and capabilities, accessible talents, easy integration, and digital infrastructure, development of one-of-a-kind robot systems, which used to take years, has now become achievable in months with lower costs. The workshop may set the first step in our destined direction toward the digital transformation of R&RS.

There is renewed interest in robotic applications in nuclear decommissioning and legacy nuclear waste management. DOE-EM has recently engaged in technical workshop and task-force group to set path forward and promote collaboration in robotics program in conjunction to various site needs across agencies. Interest in robotics technology also increased in broader nuclear industry and government agencies, e.g. nuclear reactors, waste management, and manufacturing. There are also significant R&RS activities internationally; opportunity for our members to participate and exchange information with R&RS communities in the UK, EU, and Japan.

The increased interest, technology readiness, and resulting activities are a net positive for the broader robotics and remote systems community. The Executive Committee (EC) has committed to raising awareness of these and other opportunities to the members, as well as using these collaborative opportunities to bring broader awareness to our own activities, like our technical sessions in annual meetings, workshops, and topical meetings.



Young Soo Park

Chair, RRSD



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