Lessons Learned: Symbiotic Autonomous Robot Ecosystem for Nuclear Environments

Daniel Mitchell, Paul Dominick Baniqued, Barry Lennox, Keir Groves, Simon Watson, Andrew West, Erwin Lopez, Hasan Kivrak, Joseph Bolarinwa, Kanzhong Yao, Melissa Sandison, Ognjen Marjanovic, Thomas Johnson, Zhengyi Jiang, Abdul Zahid, Bahman Nouri Rahmat Abadi, Bin Liu, Burak Kizilkaya, David Flynn, David John FrancisGuodong Zhao, Jennifer David, Jingyan Wang, Liyuan Qi, Mahmoud Shawky, Manuel Giuliani, Olaoluwa Popoola, Ognjen Marjanovic, Paul Bremner, Samuel Harper, Shivoh Nandakumar, Subham Agrawal, Theodore Lim, Wasim Ahmad, Xiangming Xu, Zhen Meng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nuclear facilities have a regulatory requirement to measure radiation levels within Post Operational Cleanout (POCO) around nuclear facilities each year, resulting in a trend towards robotic deployments to gain an improved understanding during nuclear decommissioning phases. The UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority supports the view that human-in-the-loop robotic deployments are a solution to improve procedures and reduce risks within radiation characterisation of nuclear sites. We present a novel implementation of a Cyber-Physical System (CPS) deployed in an analogue nuclear environment, comprised of a multi-robot team coordinated by a human-in-the-loop operator through a digital twin interface. The development of the CPS created efficient partnerships across systems including robots, digital systems and human. This was presented as a multi-staged mission within an inspection scenario for the heterogeneous Symbiotic Multi-Robot Fleet (SMuRF). Symbiotic interactions were achieved across the SMuRF where robots utilised automated collaborative governance to work together where a single robot would face challenges in full characterisation of radiation. Key contributions include the demonstration of symbiotic autonomy and query-based learning of an autonomous mission supporting scalable autonomy and autonomy as a service. The coordination of the CPS was a success and displayed further challenges and improvements related to future multi-robot fleets.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIET Cyber-Systems Robotics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2023


  • Autonomous Systems
  • Cooperating Robots
  • Decommissioning
  • Distributed Systems
  • Field Robotics
  • Multi-Robot Fleet
  • Multi-Robot Systems
  • Hazardous Environment


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