New Project on Review of Nuclear Robotics Systems

The University of Bristol (UoB), in partnership with Thales UK and the University of the West of England (UWE), has been awarded funding for a project on “Approaches to Safety Critical Certification for RAI Systems”. This project has been funded by the National Centre for Nuclear Robotics (NCNR) – one of the two UK nuclear robotics hubs announced by EPSRC last year.

This project will be a 5 month study to identify approaches to safety-critical certification for robotic and artificial intelligence (RAI) systems. The project will review approaches to testing, certification, assurance, verification and validation across the whole range of industries that require safety-critical, secure systems.

Project Aims

The aim of the project is to develop a comprehensive understanding of how various industries are approaching the issue of certifying the safety and security of systems which are becoming increasingly autonomous. This learning will then be disseminated within NCNR for consideration of how it can be applied to RAI systems in the nuclear industry; the project will also consider opportunities for transferring the outcomes of the NCNR work into other sectors.

Robotics Research in Bristol

UoB and UWE already have a successful collaborative partnership together in Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL) -  an internationally-recognised centre of excellence in robotics, including more than 4,500 sq. metres of state of the art facilities.

Thales also has substantial experience in RAI systems, including having won a feasibility study from Innovate UK on ‘Connected and Autonomous Vehicles’ (round 3). Thales and UoB also have a strategic partnership.

Industrial Collaboration with Thales UK

Ben Pritchard, Thales UK Research Group Leader for Autonomous Systems:

“This project is a great opportunity for Thales to further leverage its Strategic Partnership with the University of Bristol.  Concentrating our academic engagement activities into fewer partners, each with a larger portfolio, is a key part of our academic strategy.

By working inside the NCNR we can access a much wider range of stakeholders and markets than would be possible if we worked alone.  We look forward to further defining the market opportunity for the technologies and techniques developed inside the NCNR.”


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