The LaserSnake system has successfully completed its second set of laser cutting trials at TWI, a precursor to active trials in the First Generation Reprocessing Plant (FGRP) at Sellafield this summer. The snake-arm robot combined with the ULO laser process head has shown itself to be a versatile system for in-situ nuclear decommissioning tasks.
The modular arm system, with up to 4.5m articulation, carried an integrated tool comprising a laser process head, high-definition cameras and high-powered LEDs and is designed for precise dismantling work within confined and hazardous environments.
During the trials, the tele-operated system size reduced a 40mm thick steel cylinder using teach and repeat cutting paths. Continuous cutting, stop/start cutting, linear and curved paths, and cut path recovery were all used to enable size reduction of the trial pieces. Recovery situations were simulated in which an uncompleted cut could be restarted with the laser process head in the same position and orientation as during the original pass. The system was easily ‘taught’ to cut curved surfaces as well as flat.
Craig Wilson, OC Robotics’ Managing Director, comments: “The performance of the LaserSnake system exceeded the design requirement and we are looking forward to deploying the system on the Sellafield site this summer.”
For more information about the LaserSnake system please visit www.ocrobotics.com.