As part of the FY 2000 and 2001 Department of Energy Large-Scale Demonstration and Deployment Project (LSDDP), the
collaborated with the Russian Research and Development Institute of Construction Technology (NIKIMT) to develop a novel robotic solution to the problem of characterizing radiation in a remote environment. The resulting Robotic Gamma Locating and Isotopic Identification Device (RGL&IID) integrated DOE Robotics Crosscutting (Rbx) technology with NIKIMT Russian gamma locating and isotopic identification technology.
While the new robotic solution offered significant improvements in terms of time, cost, worker exposure, and the quality of data acquired, the remote nature of this new technology presented new human-robot interaction challenges. Humans were required to enter the building to instrument the environment with cameras and to assist the robot during the execution of the task. Moreover, during the actual deployment, the robot was only allowed to move at very slow speeds due to the limitations of visual feedback to the operator. Since this teleoperated deployment, the
has been working to develop capabilities that will allow the robot to autonomously characterize a hazardous environment, building an accurate map, which is overlaid with radiation levels.