Atkins & COVVI Revolutionize Nuclear Operations with Robotics

Discover how this innovative partnership aims to enhance safety, increase efficiency, and revolutionize the way hazardous tasks are performed in the nuclear industry.
Abdul-Rahman Oladimeji Bello
Inspecting Robot

Consulting engineer Atkins has joined forces with COVVI, a UK-based prosthetic hand developer, to develop a cutting-edge robotic solution tailored for nuclear environments. This exciting partnership aims to provide near-human capabilities for remote work in hazardous settings, leveraging the expertise of both companies.

Atkins, known for its innovative use of collaborative robots in the nuclear sector, will integrate COVVI's bionic hand into its existing robotic solutions. Originally designed for prosthetic surgery applications, COVVI's bionic hand offers exceptional flexibility and dexterity, making it a perfect fit for manipulating objects in high-risk nuclear operations.

The bionic hand, serving as an "end effector," will be linked to a robotic arm, enabling workers to perform dangerous tasks from a remote location safely. This breakthrough technology will eliminate the need for operators to physically handle nuclear materials and waste within gloveboxes, ensuring their safety while enhancing overall efficiency.

What sets COVVI apart is their expertise in biomimicry, which allows them to create robotic arms that closely mimic human dexterity. As a result, the arms' durability and functionality are expected to improve significantly over time, offering a truly lifelike experience in complex nuclear environments.

By enabling the teleoperation of robotics, the partnership between Atkins and COVVI aims to reduce the need for human presence in hazardous areas. Even when a human operator is necessary, the system will extend their safe working time within the glovebox. These advancements will enhance safety, accelerate project delivery times, and provide valuable time for on-site operators.

Potential for the nuclear sector

Sam Stephens, SNC-Lavalin's head of digital nuclear, expressed his optimism about the partnership: "Robotics hold huge potential for the nuclear sector, and we expect their use to become increasingly common over the coming decade as the industry seeks to improve safety, increase efficiency, and address skills shortages.

By collaborating with COVVI to adapt their bionic hand for teleoperation, we combine our knowledge of nuclear, digital, and robotics capabilities, paving the way for innovative solutions that address the sector's challenges swiftly and cost-effectively."

Atkins & COVVI Revolutionize Nuclear Operations with Robotics
Nuclear robotics

Simon Pollard, representing COVVI, shared his enthusiasm for the venture: "We are thrilled to finalize this partnership and expand into the robotics market. With the robotics market rapidly evolving, becoming more affordable, scalable, and customizable, COVVI's world-leading, a multi-articulated bionic hand is the perfect choice to introduce state-of-the-art technology to the nuclear sector.

We are excited to develop and implement innovative solutions that create safer and more efficient processes in the hazardous environments intrinsic to the nuclear industry."

Over the past six months, Atkins and COVVI have collaborated on integrating the bionic hand with collaborative robots like Kinova's Gen3 arm, which Atkins currently utilizes in its gloveboxes. Additionally, Atkins is developing a digital twin, a virtual replica, to rehearse and preplan glovebox activities, further enhancing operational efficiency.

This groundbreaking partnership between Atkins and COVVI marks a significant milestone in the nuclear industry's pursuit of enhanced safety, increased efficiency, and innovation. As robotic technologies advance, their integration into nuclear operations will become increasingly vital, addressing challenges while shaping the industry's future.

Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
message circleSHOW COMMENT (1)chevron
Job Board