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TAO2000 V2 computer-assisted force feedback telemanipulators used as maintenance and production tools at the AREVA NC–La Hague fuel recycling plant



During a 15-year joint research program, French Atomic Energy Agency Interactive Robotics Laboratory (CEA LIST) and AREVA have developed several remote operation devices, also called telerobots. Some of them are now commonly used for maintenance operations at the AREVA NC (Nuclear Cycle)–La Hague reprocessing plant. Since the first maintenance operation in 2005, several other successful interventions have been realized using the industrial MA23/RX170 telemanipulation system. Moreover, since 2010, the through-the-wall tele- robot named MT200 TAO based on the slave arm of the MSM MT200 (La CalhèneTM), has been evaluated in an active production cell at the AREVA NC–La Hague fuel recycling plant. Although these evaluations are ongoing, the positive results obtained have led to an update and industrialization program. All these developments are based on the same generic control platform, called TAO2000 V2. TAO2000 V2 is the second release of the CEA LIST core software platform dedicated to computer aided force-feedback teleoperation (TAO is the French acronym for computer aided teleoperation). This paper presents all these developments resulting from the joint research program CEA LIST/AREVA. The TAO2000 V2 controller is first detailed, and then two maintenance operations using the industrial robot RX170 are presented: the removal of the nuclear fuel dissolver wheel rollers and the cleanup of the dissolver wheel interbucket spaces. Finally, the new MT200 TAO system and its evaluations at the AREVA NC–La Hague facilities are discussed. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.