[robotics-worldwide] [journals] RA magazine - Special Issue on Robots for in-situ interventions: From innovative approaches to industrial applications

XinDong erwindong1985 at gmail.com
Mon Mar 12 04:42:08 PDT 2018


Special Issue on Robots for in-situ interventions: From innovative
approaches to industrial applications 
Background and motivation 
Conventionally, robot manufacturers focused their attention on automation of
the production lines for brand-new products and/or repetitive tasks; as
these are developed mainly for “open spaces” (e.g. large workshops) their
ability to access confined spaces is limited from both dimensional and
number of DoF point of view. 

However, it seems that limited attention has been paid to the development of
necessary robotic systems to assist with post-production works such as
maintenance and repair. 

Some key industries rely on post-production treatments (e.g. maintenance,
repair) to sustain their business to: 

Ensure safe running of complex installations (e.g. nuclear power plants),
highly engineered products (e.g. aero-engines) or civil engineering assets
(e.g. bridges). 
Avoid cost penalties associated with possible down-times of equipment (e.g.
shut down of power plants, offshore oil rigs) that provide critical inputs
(e.g. gas, electricity, oil) to wide range of industries. 
To comply with health and safety when post-production operations are
performed on some installations (e.g. works at heights, underwater, chemical
exposure, restrained spaces, explosive environments). 
To respond to the need in performing “against the clock” treatments on
industrial equipment under constrained/dangerous environments (e.g.
submersed installations or offshore rigs). 
As such, due to the large scale of these key installations (e.g. power
plants, offshore oil & gas platforms), most of the time, the post-production
(e.g. maintenance/repair) works are performed in-situ and thus, the use of
“off-the-shelf” robots to carry out such tasks might not be possible. 

Moreover, most of these post-production works require multi-task operations
such as inspection, sampling, machining, metrological assessments; all these
aspects indicate that there is not a simple solution for having an adequate
tooling system if holistic (overall) in-situ treatments have to be done. 

SI Robots for in situ interventionsThus, it becomes apparent that the
development of innovative robotised solutions for performing in-situ
holistic post-production works, on capital intensive and long service life
equipment is of critical importance for ensuring safe and economical
operation of key industrial sectors. 

In such instances, the lack of appropriate robotic systems to perform
holistic post-productions operations (e.g. inspection & maintenance &
repair) in a versatile manner to cover a large field of applications not
only results in insufficient exploitation of the existing installations but
also hinders the development of new and ever-more sophisticated technologies
(e.g. energy, aerospace, construction). 

In the above context, it seems that a niche technology is that of miniature
robotised machine systems to address holistic inspection, maintenance and
repair works in restricted/hazardous environments.Miniature robotised
machines refer here as advanced robotic systems that are able to
navigate/access in-situ industrial installations and perform multi-task
operations (e.g. inspection, removal/additive processing) for holistic
in-situ maintenance/repair of complex installations. 

Call for papers 
This Special Issue aims to select a set of recent advances in specialist
robotics dedicated to in-situ interventions with emphasis to those solutions
that not only perform “passive” (e.g. inspection) tasks but also able to
perform “active” (e.g. machining, welding, etc) tasks. 

To topics to be considered in this special issue include, but not limited

Design and modelling of novel concepts of robots for in-situ interventions 
Control of robotics for navigation and manipulation of in-situ hazardous
Autonomous or teleoperated robots for in-situ interventions 
Human-robot interaction to support operation of robots for in-situ
Collaborative robots for performing complex tasks in-situ
structured/unstructured environments 
Smart mechatronics, including end-effectors, and sensing that enable robotic
in-situ interventions 

The Guest Editors aim to select those contributions that have clear evidence
on their ability to perform real (near) industrial in-situ interventions.
Through this, it is hoped that the academic and industrial community will
get excited about the challenges and opportunities offered by robotics for
in-situ interventions. 

Important Dates 
1 May 2018 - Deadline for paper submission 
1 August 2018 - First review 
20 November 2018 - Final review 
March 2019 - Publication

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