Lessons learned: Symbiotic autonomous robot ecosystem for nuclear environments

Daniel Mitchell*, Paul Dominick Emor Baniqued, Abdul Zahid, Andrew West, Bahman Nouri Rahmat Abadi, Barry Lennox, Bin Liu, Burak Kizilkaya, David Flynn, David John Francis, Erwin Jose Lopez Pulgarin, Guodong Zhao, Hasan Kivrak, Jamie Rowland Douglas Blanche, Jennifer David, Jingyan Wang, Joseph Bolarinwa, Kanzhong Yao, Keir Groves, Liyuan QiMahmoud A. Shawky, Manuel Giuliani, Melissa Sandison, Olaoluwa Popoola, Ognjen Marjanovic, Paul Bremner, Samuel Thomas Harper, Shivoh Nandakumar, Simon Watson, Subham Agrawal, Theodore Lim, Thomas Johnson, Wasim Ahmad, Xiangmin Xu, Zhen Meng, Zhengyi Jiang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


Nuclear facilities have a regulatory requirement to measure radiation levels within Post Operational Clean Out (POCO) around nuclear facilities each year, resulting in a trend towards robotic deployments to gain an improved understanding during nuclear decommissioning phases. The UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority supports the view that human-in-the-loop (HITL) robotic deployments are a solution to improve procedures and reduce risks within radiation characterisation of nuclear sites. The authors present a novel implementation of a Cyber-Physical System (CPS) deployed in an analogue nuclear environment, comprised of a multi-robot (MR) team coordinated by a HITL operator through a digital twin interface. The development of the CPS created efficient partnerships across systems including robots, digital systems and human. This was presented as a multi-staged mission within an inspection scenario for the heterogeneous Symbiotic Multi-Robot Fleet (SMuRF). Symbiotic interactions were achieved across the SMuRF where robots utilised automated collaborative governance to work together, where a single robot would face challenges in full characterisation of radiation. Key contributions include the demonstration of symbiotic autonomy and query-based learning of an autonomous mission supporting scalable autonomy and autonomy as a service. The coordination of the CPS was a success and displayed further challenges and improvements related to future MR fleets.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12103
JournalIET Cyber-Systems and Robotics
Issue number4
Early online date26 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • cyber-systems
  • field robotics
  • hazardous inspection
  • human robot interaction
  • industrial robotics
  • mobile robots
  • multi-agent systems
  • multi-robot systems
  • robotics
  • service robots

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Artificial Intelligence


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