Track record and leadership

In 2017, collaborating with UK National Nuclear Lab, the ERL team delivered the world's first autonomous robot ever allowed inside a real radioactive environment - an AI controlled, computer vision guided robot arm, with autonomous motion planning, deploying a 6kW laser to cut contaminated metal (of arbitrary surface shapes) at the Springfields nuclear site. This achievement has never since been repeated by any other team on any other nuclear site world-wide.

Over the past decade, the ERL team have been prominent leaders of major national and international projects. These have included 2014-2028 €7million H2020 RoMaNS (Robotic Manipulation for Nuclear waste Sorting and Segregation), with five labs in three nations - promoted by the European Commission as their "flagship robotics project" and "European Commission Success Story". We also founded and led the £42million UK National Centre for Nuclear Robotics (NCNR), bringing together ten UK universities. NCNR published more than 400 peer reviewed papers in its first 4 years, coupled with landmark deployments of advanced robotic systems on national and international nuclear sites.

Since 2018, we have led the prominent robotics component of the UK Faraday Institute’s ongoing £17million national research hub ReLiB (Recycling Lithium Ion Batteries) in which we have demonstrated robotic disassembly of extremely complex, half-tonne Electric Vehicle battery packs. We are now expanding this work with €1.1million new robotics funding, as part of the €5million Horizon Europe REBELION consortium, and also via collaborations with industry sponsors and National Catapult Centres.