Puresafe boosts the development of mobile machines
"Being a part of this project makes me a Marie Curie Fellow. It is a great honour,
says Reza Oftadeh."
TUT has recently launched an international doctoral programme to train experts in mobile machine development in collaboration with Cern, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.
Puresafe (preventing human intervention for increased safety in infrastructures emitting ionizing radiation) is a three-year doctoral programme that is funded under the European Commission's Marie Curie Actions (Initial Training Networks) and implemented by a network of partners.
In addition to Cern, the consortium brings together universities and research centres from Germany and Spain and a group of industrial companies based in Finland and other European countries.
New design models, methods and tools
The consortium has set its sights on developing autonomous service robots intended for complex and hazardous environments, such as nuclear power plants and scientific infrastructures. One of the key objectives is to slash the life-cycle costs of the given work-site operation scenario by involving a fleet of autonomous robots.
"Reducing costs starts at the conceptual design stage by analysing the life-cycle costs of the target work-site. Therefore, the main focus of Puresafe is the development of new design models, methods and tools for the complex scenarios," summarizes programme coordinator, Professor Jouni Mattila from the Department of Intelligent Hydraulics and Automation (IHA) at TUT.
The manufacturing industries are set to benefit from the results of the joint effort.
"TUT's primary role as a university is to educate professionals based on high impact research that meet the needs of industry and business. IHA's mission is to bridge the theory and practice by engaging in close research and education collaboration with companies," says Mattila.
"The best place to develop collaboration skills and team spirit"
Researcher Reza Oftadeh is one of the 15 doctoral students selected for the Puresafe programme.
Oftadeh's research experience covers a wide range of robotic systems, such as biped robots and parallel manipulators. His role in Puresafe is to develop assisting autonomous functionalities for ensuring safe teleoperation.
"Our scenario is a fleet of mobile robots working in the maze of tunnels underneath Cern, performing engineering tasks and monitoring the underground facilities for hazards such as leakages and radiation hot spots."
"My project is mainly about research on advanced machine decision level functionality, such as artificial intelligence and low level control signals that enable the robot to detect, make decisions and prevent potential hazardous operations, commands and to alert the operator. In other words, I develop algorithms to work as an intelligent assistant that helps the supervisor by making and carrying out operational decisions on the remote mobile robots."
Puresafe involves several universities, companies and members from various nationalities and cultures.
"In this sense, I think Puresafe is the best place to develop collaboration skills and build team spirit in an international environment. As the coordinator, TUT needs to divide tasks among different researchers in a way that enables them to benefit from each other's achievements and collectively pursue viable solutions," says Oftadeh.
Puresafe - Marie Curie Initial Training Network
Marie Curie Actions
European Organization for Nuclear Research
Department of Intelligent Hydraulics and Automation (TUT)
Strong tradition of excellence in hydraulics and automation in Tampere region
Tampere region offers widespread opportunities for university-company collaboration, as numerous machine manufacturers and their R&D departments are based in the region.
Many of them have achieved global market leadership, such as Cargotec that develops cargo and load handling solutions and autonomous containers. Earlier this autumn, the company announced plans to build a new technology and competence centre in Tampere.
Representatives from Cargotec commented that Tampere's strong tradition of excellence in hydraulics and automation tipped the scales in favour of the city. Another reason for choosing Tampere as the site was the Finnish Metals and Engineering Competence Cluster FIMECC that is located in Tampere. IHA is also involved in the R&D activities of FIMECC.
Finnish Metals and Engineering Competence Cluster FIMECC