Academic Training Lecture Regular Programme

REMOTE - Robotics activities at CERN - Robotic Solutions for remote maintenance (1/5)

by Mario Di Castro (CERN)


Robotic Solutions for remote maintenance 

Intelligent robotic systems are becoming essential for space applications, industries, nuclear plants and for harsh environments in general, such as the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) particles accelerator complex and experiments. Robotics technology has huge potential benefits for people and its ultimate scope depends on the way this technology is used. In order to increase safety and machine availability, robots can perform repetitive, unplanned and dangerous tasks, which humans either prefer to avoid or are unable to carry out due to hazards, size constraints, or the extreme environments in which they take place. Nowadays, mechatronic systems use mature technologies that allow their robust and safe use, even in collaboration with human workers. In this presentation, the current status of the robotic activities performed at CERN by the BE-CEM group is presented. Several robotics solutions have been applied in the past years at CERN, as well as custom made robotic devices. New ideas and solution could come in the close future to increase safety of CERN personnel decreasing radiation dose taken. Current and future research and development in robotics done at CERN are described, as well as the results from the commissioning of various novel robotic controls.

Short bio Mario Di Castro

Dr. Mario Di Castro received the M.Sc. degree in electronic engineering from the University of Naples "Federico II", Italy, and the PhD degree on robotics and industrial controls from the Polytechnic University of Madrid, Spain. 

From 2005 until 2006 he is an intern and a technical student at CERN in charge of advanced magnetic measurements and studies for LHC superconducting magnets.

From 2007 until 2011, he works at EMBL c/o DESY in charge of advanced mechatronics solutions for synchrotron beamlines controls.

Since 2011, he works at CERN where, since 2018, he leads the Mechatronics, Robotics and Operation section. The section is responsible for the design, installation, operation and maintenance of advanced control systems based on different control platforms for movable devices characterized by few um positioning accuracy (e.g. scrapers, collimators, goniometers and target) in harsh environment. Important section activities are the design, construction, installation, operation and maintenance of robotic systems used for remote maintenance in the whole CERN accelerator complex and quality assurance. His research interests are mainly focused on modular robots, tele-robotics, human robot interfaces, machine learning, enhanced reality, automatic controls, mechatronics, precise motion control in harsh environment and advanced robotics also for search and rescue scenarios.

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