The Interactive and Robotics Systems Lab (IRS Lab) at Universitat Jaume I in Castellón de la Plana is a Spanish Ministry and EU funded research team. The group primarily focuses on applied robotics in real-world service scenarios where underwater manipulation is required. We touched base with Superior Research Technician, Alejandro Solis Jiménez for greater insight on their work and how our advanced Reach Alpha and Bravo robotic systems contribute to their ongoing research.

The IRS Lab’s key research projects include multisensory-based grasping, dexterous manipulation, telerobotics and human-robot interaction. These projects aim to improve the efficacy and accuracy of remote robotic servicing in hazardous nuclear environments. Solis Jiménez specifies how the Reach Bravo 7 has assisted them with common servicing activities including “underwater cooperative transportation, manipulation and assembly tasks.”

The IRS Lab is a part of the pioneering Research Center in Robotics and Underwater Technologies (CIRTESU). Their expansive testing facilities include a 480 m3 water tank, a Girona500 AUV and a replica water-diffuser installation that is typically found in water treatment plants. Equipped with these resources, they deployed the advanced Bravo 7 for autonomous underwater manipulation and optically-linked, hybrid AUV and ROV research.

With impressive results, the Bravo quickly became an “essential piece of equipment” according to Solis Jiménez; he elaborates:

“The RB7 has proved to be a versatile and robust underwater robotic arm. Its firmware makes it easy to work with and program. The manipulator fits well and works well together with the Girona500 AUV.”

Following this success, they acquired a Reach Alpha 5 robotic arm for further testing. The more compact manipulator will contribute to research on embedded electronic solutions for polymer innovative scanning tools. These tools are intended for remote inspection of polymeric pipes in the nuclear industry and therefore require a degree of radiation tolerance. Reach Alpha manipulators are radiation tolerant to at least 400mGy/hr, making them ideal ROV/AUV tools for nuclear servicing.

We are looking forward to observing further results achieved with the IRS Lab’s continued research into applied robotic solutions for underwater servicing. Reach Robotics is proud to partner with universities and researchers worldwide, pushing the scope of manipulation for inspection and maintenance operations.

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Undersea Defence Technology

Stand D1010 | 9-11 April | ExCeL London

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