Four academic projects have been selected by Rail Research UK Association (RRUKA) to explore the possibilities of using robotics and autonomous systems in rail.
Four winners of the Application of Robotics and Autonomous Systems to Rolling Stock Maintenance feasibility studies competition, facilitated by RRUKA, have been selected to share funding of £250,000.
The competition, launched in November 2015, called for blue-sky ideas about how to make use of robotic and/or autonomous systems to carry out rolling stock maintenance, servicing and inspections. The aim is to reduce maintenance time and cost, and increase the reliability of inspections.
The four projects that have been funded are tackling a number of areas, including fluids service tasks, exterior cleaning and wheel/axle inspections. The winners include:
- Cab Front Cleaning Robot, led by Cranfield University and Heriot Watt University
- Enhancing and automating non-destructive testing techniques for railway wheel-sets, led by Southampton Solent University
- Feasibility of the Use of Autonomous Robotic Systems for Wheelset Reworking, led by the University of Birmingham
- Robust Automated Servicing of Passenger Train Fluids (RASPT-F), led by Brunel University