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Simulating Ionising Radiation in Gazebo for Robotic Nuclear Inspection Challenges

Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
Department of Engineering, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YW, UK
Oxford Robotics Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford OX2 6NN, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Nicola Bellotto
Robotics 2021, 10(3), 86;
Received: 31 May 2021 / Revised: 29 June 2021 / Accepted: 2 July 2021 / Published: 7 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Robots for Hazardous Environments in the UK)
The utilisation of robots in hazardous nuclear environments has potential to reduce risk to humans. However, historical use has been largely limited to specific missions rather than broader industry-wide adoption. Testing and verification of robotics in realistic scenarios is key to gaining stakeholder confidence but hindered by limited access to facilities that contain radioactive materials. Simulations offer an alternative to testing with actual radioactive sources, provided they can readily describe the behaviour of robotic systems and ionising radiation within the same environment. This work presents a quick and easy way to generate simulated but realistic deployment scenarios and environments which include ionising radiation, developed to work within the popular robot operating system compatible Gazebo physics simulator. Generated environments can be evolved over time, randomly or user-defined, to simulate the effects of degradation, corrosion or to alter features of certain objects. Interaction of gamma radiation sources within the environment, as well as the response of simulated detectors attached to mobile robots, is verified against the MCNP6 Monte Carlo radiation transport code. The benefits these tools provide are highlighted by inclusion of three real-world nuclear sector environments, providing the robotics community with opportunities to assess the capabilities of robotic systems and autonomous functionalities. View Full-Text
Keywords: nuclear; radiation; Gazebo; simulation; ROS nuclear; radiation; Gazebo; simulation; ROS
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wright, T.; West, A.; Licata, M.; Hawes, N.; Lennox, B. Simulating Ionising Radiation in Gazebo for Robotic Nuclear Inspection Challenges. Robotics 2021, 10, 86.

AMA Style

Wright T, West A, Licata M, Hawes N, Lennox B. Simulating Ionising Radiation in Gazebo for Robotic Nuclear Inspection Challenges. Robotics. 2021; 10(3):86.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wright, Thomas, Andrew West, Mauro Licata, Nick Hawes, and Barry Lennox. 2021. "Simulating Ionising Radiation in Gazebo for Robotic Nuclear Inspection Challenges" Robotics 10, no. 3: 86.

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