RAICo: Robotics and AI Collaboration

The Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Collaboration for fusion energy, fission decommissioning and beyond.
Digital graphic artwork of a robot arm

The Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Collaboration (RAICo) is a collaboration between the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), Sellafield Ltd and the University of Manchester.  

Bringing together end-user teams from both fission and fusion engineering, RAICo develops robotics and AI technologies that are required for the deployment of remotely operated solutions for fission and fusion sector.

Using robotics and AI in hazardous nuclear decommissioning environments will provide the step-change in capabilities needed to move towards a faster, safer and more cost-effective set of next generation activities. The learnings from the research and development for decommissioning will also develop essential expertise in bringing fusion generated electricity to the grid. 

RAICo works across four key technology themes:  

Remote handling

Removing humans from harmful environments 

Size reduction

Preparing waste for storage

Robotics and AI data (RAID)

Gathering data to enable decisions 

Digital infrastructure

Developing digital tools for remote operations 

A graphic showing the operating window of a prototype manipulator built by Wälischmiller Engineering

Collaboration and partnership 

RAICo welcomes industry to collaborate on its initial 3-year programme from April 2022 to March 2025. The programme will develop capabilities to deploy robotics and AI technologies for safer, faster and more cost-effective decommissioning and fusion engineering. Working in partnership with industry is essential in order for RAICo to deliver its mission. 

The programme actively engages with the supply chain as part of socioeconomic initiatives in Cumbria.

To learn more about RAICo procurement opportunities, please go to the Contracts page. 

Much of RAICo’s work is carried out at RAICo1 situated in Whitehaven, Cumbria. RAICo1 is the first in a series of robotics and artificial intelligence collaboration hubs across the UK. It houses research, development and demonstration environments that address the technology needs of RAICo’s end users, such as remotely operated gloveboxes for manipulating and sorting simulated hazardous waste and water tanks for remotely operated vehicles. 

By being part of the RAICo team, I get to apply my knowledge and experience from operating the JET remote handling system to new challenges. We are exploring cutting edge technologies, such as robotic gloveboxes, which soon will be operating on real-world tasks.

Jon Verdon

Remote Handling Operations Engineer

RACE Programmes

RACE is engineering the freedom to operate in challenging environments. To achieve our fusion engineering goals, we work internationally with end users, industry supply chains and academia.

Developing digital tools to enable faster, safer and more cost-effective decommissioning.

Delivering the world’s largest windowless hot cell.

Developing an in-house suite of software for performing remote tasks using robotics in challenging environments.

Keep up to date with what's going on at RACE