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Miniaturised Robotic systems for holistic in-situ Repair and maintenance works in restrained and hazardous environments (MiRoR)
Start date: Feb 1, 2012, End date: Jan 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

MiRoR aims to develop a fundamentally novel concept of a Miniaturised Robotic Machine (Mini-RoboMach) system, that equipped with intelligence-driven and autonomous abilities, will be demonstrated for holistic in-situ repair and maintenance of large and/or intricate installations.This will be done via the following research steps:-Develop a novel concept of Mini-RoboMach, with unique complementary miniature systems: (1) novel “free-leg hexapod” (i.e. without base platform) for providing both “walking” and 6-axis processing capability; (2) an original stiffness-controlled flexible-arm robot for enabling “snaking” and 6-axis light processing ability. The complementarily means that a hybrid configuration of Mini-RoboMach, i.e. “walk & snake-in” can be utilised.-Develop MiRoR intelligent controller equipped with following key abilities:Self-positioning: enable walk and/or snake navigations to/from work and calibration of end-effectors on required features;Reasoning: decide on methods of accessing the working area (walking and/or snaking-in mode) while learning from these experiences.Planning: schedule task successions and optimise Mini-RoboMach path in reference to intervention on different places within the installationAdaptation: modify the parameters of treatment procedures for developing a self-protection ability of Mini-RoboMach in case it encounters harmful/unfavourable conditions.-Develop a unique virtual test bench for the hardware (e.g. Mini-RoboMach) and software (intelligent controller) of MiRoR so that its robustness and capability to work unsupervised within required harsh/remote workspaces can pre-assessed and corrected before its effective utilisation.-Demonstrate MiRoR by performing in-situ holistic repair/maintenance works (e.g. inspection and processing – material deposition, removal) on high investment, large and/or intricate industrial such as (power plants, aero-engines, construction / infrastructure, offshore platforms, etc).
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