June 29, 2015
AREVA has delivered the first in a new generation of robots, known as RIANA (Robot for Investigations and Assessments of Nuclear Areas), to the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA). These robots are capable of operating in radioactive areas to map, take samples or to measure radioactivity.
RIANA is a motorized platform with interchangeable measurement or sampling modules that can be adapted to the operational situation. Available with four-wheel or caterpillar track drive, this "Swiss army knife" of nuclear robotics is also equipped with 3D and thermal cameras to reconstitute its environment in real time. It also has on-board laser detectors to negotiate its way around obstacles and position itself precisely within a confined space.
RIANA's Human-Machine Interface (HMI) is based on an innovative technology which facilitates in-zone interventions. Moreover, operations can be executed without necessarily requiring the presence of an operator: an optional guidance program allows the robot to find its own way and to work on a site autonomously. In the event of a signal loss, RIANA is automatically guided back towards its last known location, whether being teleguided by an operator or operating autonomously.
RIANA's features make it an ideal tool for supporting nuclear dismantling operations, particularly in areas where operator presence is restricted or prohibited. Its development teams have drawn on 20 years of expertise to create a tool that is powerful, modular and easy to use. The CEA has already placed an order for a second model equipped with additional functionalities and other nuclear operators have expressed an interest.
Thierry Varet, Technical Director of AREVA's Dismantling & Services said: "AREVA has extensive experience in the development of this type of technology and offers a broad catalog of complementary robotic devices that are designed to work together. RIANA provides a new range of services for interventions in sensitive nuclear areas, within confined spaces or those affected by accidents, both in day-to-day and emergency situations."