Wood Group develops ‘space-age’ ROVs in £1.5m nuclear decommissioning deal

The X2 ROV developed for nuclear decommissioning can climb stairs when heavily-loaded and turn on the spot.
The X2 ROV developed for nuclear decommissioning can climb stairs when heavily-loaded and turn on the spot.

The Aberdeen-based Wood Group has secured £1.5 million in Brit-Govt funding to develop ‘space-age’ ROVs to be used in nuclear decommissioning.

Wood and its supply chain will combine new data and control systems with state-of-the-art robotics to design a demonstrator system for cleaning and dismantling highly radioactive rooms or ‘cells’ at Sellafield in Cumbria, UK, Europe’s most complex nuclear site.

The technologies used in Wood’s project include novel material handling solutions to reduce the risks of working at height, mixed reality headsets, a multi-fingered gripper allowing robots to grasp different objects, and a navigation system designed for missions to Mars that enables autonomous mapping where human access is impossible.

Bob MacDonald, head of Wood’s Specialist Technical Solutions business, comments: “Our innovative proposal for a fully remote solution removes the operator from a hazardous environment and is adaptable enough to tackle different tasks, many of which present unique challenges.

“Wood’s role is as an innovation integrator, bringing together ingenious ideas from industry and academia to define a new approach to the nuclear decommissioning challenge.”

Meanwhile Wood’s Specialist Technical Solutions business, has also recently supported TerraForm Power with power performance testing at its wind farm in Texas, USA.

20 Feb 2018

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