Energid Technologies has deployed its Actin software on the Articulated Inspection Arm (AIA) robot, which is being developed by jointly by French and Chinese research institutes for tokamak inspection.
Developed by the Institute for Magnetic Fusion Research (IRFM), part of the French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission, and the Institute of Plasma Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (ASIPP), the AIA snakelike robot is able to navigate through tight areas in an unfriendly environment with high temperatures.
Following a proof of concept carried out at the French Tokamak Tore Supra/WEST in Cadarache, the robot was upgraded and wil nowl be tested on the Chinese Tokamak EAST in Hefei before returning to France.
Energid says the robot requires "unique and complex" control as its many joints navigate around obstacles and the toroidal shape of the tokamak. The control software must automatically avoid collisions with all surfaces within the vessel and must compensate for the dynamic properties of the robot, like sag.
Energid, working in collaboration with AREVA and OPEN CASCADE, created a turnkey application layer for intuitively controlling the robot and dynamically avoiding collisions. The robot will use Energid's Actin software, which has been licensed by CEA.
"Using Actin's control system and feature-rich 3D environment made the deployment of the robot much easier for the users," says Piyoosh Mukhija, Lead Project Engineer for the AIA system at Energid. "It enables the operators to quickly switch between different, powerful control modes that allow a mix of interactive and automated movements."
Photo: French Tokamak Tore Supra/WEST in Cadarache