There is a growing demand from industry for robotic systems that can be deployed into extreme environments for very long periods of time, with little or no maintenance. Such robots have the potential to deliver considerable benefits across multiple sectors, including space, nuclear and infrastructure. The focus of this presentation will be on some of the robotic challenges that are faced in the nuclear sector, where robots are essential if nuclear power (fission and fusion) is to be harnessed in the future. Details will be provided of some of the robots that have been developed at the University of Manchester, and deployed into radioactive environments.
The concept of sustainability and sustainable development has been well discussed and was subject to many conferences of the EU and UN resulting in agendas, goals, and resolutions. Yet, literature shows that the three dimensions of sustainability (ecological, social, and economic) are unevenly accounted for in the design of mechatronic products. The stated reasons range from a lack or inapplicability of tools for integration into the design process, models for simulation, and impact analyses to necessary changes in policy and social behavior. The influence designers have on the sustainability of a product lies mostly in the early design phases of the development process, such as requirements engineering and concept evaluation. Currently, these concepts emerge mostly from performance-based requirements rather than sustainability impact-based requirements, which are also true for service robots in urban environments. So far, the main focus of research in this innovative and growing product branch lies in performance in perception, navigation, and interaction. In my PhD I focused on the integration of all three dimensions of sustainability into the design process. Therefore, I describe the development of an urban service robot supporting municipal waste management in the city of Berlin. It is the set goal for the robot to increase the service and support the employees while reducing emissions. For that, I make use of a product development process (PDP) and its adaptable nature to build a specific development process suited to include the three dimensions of sustainability during the requirements engineering and evaluation activities. Herein, I show which aspects are underrepresented. Especially, the social dimension required me to look beyond standardized methods in the field of mechanical engineering. Based on my findings, I introduce a new activity to the development process that I call preliminary social assessment in order to incorporate social aspects in the early design phase.
For the teams link, or in-person participation, registration is required. Coffee and tea will be served.
This Seminar will also be livestreamed on our Youtube channel @BrIAStalks
VUB Campus Etterbeek
AI Experience Centre (AIXC)