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Spatio-temporal mapping of nuclear facilities using mobile robots

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0022819
Agency Tracking Number: 0000266868
Amount: $205,534.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: C54-36g
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-06-27
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-05-26
Small Business Information
4041 Liberty Avenue Suite 100
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
United States
DUNS: 118060808
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 Alexander Baikovitz
 (954) 614-3494
Business Contact
 Alexander Baikovitz
Phone: (954) 614-3494
Research Institution

Operations in dull, dirty, and dangerous conditions motivate robot deployment. Prior work has
focused on short-term deployment of robotic systems for nuclear facility characterization and
single-purpose applications. To make robotic systems ubiquitous in nuclear facility operations,
they must both provide general purpose functionality and operate more reliably than traditional
manual processes while still remaining cost effective.
In order to resolve these challenges, Mach9 Robotics Inc. will develop a perception system for a
mobile robot in order to prevent infrastructure failures by understanding how certain sensor
attributes change over time. This intelligent mobile robot platform leverages onboard mapping
technology to precisely position sensor information in order to detect changes corresponding to
potential hazards.
In Phase I, Mach9 will produce a robot that will (1) associate onboard data with a digital twin
(the base 3D model of the facility, where information is stored) to localize that data, (2) extract
instrument readings using onboard sensors, and (3) update and store these measurements in
the digital twin to reflect changes. We will develop a custom perception payload containing
radiological, visual, spatial, thermal, acoustic, and vibration sensors, integrated with an
off-the-shelf mobile robot. As the robot traverses the environment, it generates a thematic map,
overlaying quantitative metrics from onboard instrumentation onto the digital twin.
Future work will address the commercialization and higher TRL of Mach9’s nuclear inspection
software platform and will focus on real-world application and deployment. In Phase II, Mach9
intends to deploy the integrated sensor hardware system, along with multi-sensor inspection
software, in an active nuclear power plant to demonstrate full system capability. The intelligent
processing capabilities that we will develop will help identify hazards and risks early and reduce
the safety and economic impacts of plant outages. Through the DOE SBIR program, we will
develop commercial solutions to improve the safety and resilience of nuclear facilities by
empowering inspectors with the best data and insights available.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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