As part of the Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program (MSIPP) project, FIU is leading the efforts on robotic system design for the surveillance, maintenance, and repairs of DOE facilities. The project is entitled “Development of a Robotic Remote System with Plug‐and‐Play Interchangeable Components for Inspection and Repairs of DOE Facilities and Repositories”, and includes participation from Florida International University, Argonne National Lab, Savannah River National Lab, DOE EM TDO, DOE ORP, and the end user, Washington River Projection Solutions in Richland, WA. The project will also serve as a close collaboration between the research team, DOE HQ Technology Development Office and Office of River Protection.
“This is a great collaboration between multiple organizations (FIU, WRPS, DOE EM TOD, ORP, Argonne Nat. Lab, and Savannah River Nat. Lab) to develop a plug and play robotic system for Hanford Tank Farm pits. The site visit was extremely productive, and our team obtained valuable input from the end user (WRPS)” said the project Principal Investigator (PI), Dr. Leo Lagos.
The proposed research aligns well with the priority and research needs of the Office of Environmental Management in the area of Deactivation & Decommissioning, Priority Areas 5 (PA5) “Robotics and remote systems with plug‐and‐play interchangeable components”. This project will address high-priority Research Need 5 (RN5) “R&D targeting sensors that can be deployed on mobile platforms”. Specifically, this project’s results will help alleviate operational challenges at the DOE facilities and repositories by providing a self-contained field-deployable multipurpose repair system using a multiple degrees of freedom manipulator coupled with a general-purpose toolbox. Under this one-year project, the research will target the operational challenges at Hanford Tank Farm’s pit area.
During the week of May 8, 2023, the team visited DOE’s Hanford site. The purpose of the meeting was to engage with engineers from Washington River Protection Solutions (the project end-users), discuss the technical requirements for the robotic platform and identify the Plug-and-Play interchangeable tools and technology deployment requirements. The two-day meeting included technical discussions with WRPS staff and engineers, familiarization of the Farm Tank Pits, and a tour of the HAMMER and WRPS Cold Test Facilities.