About this Research Topic
The development and deployment of robotics technology in extreme environments, such as for nuclear inspection and decommissioning, offshore energy and maintenance, space exploration and deep mining, has received considerable attention in recent years. In all of these areas, robots are required to reduce the risks associated with operations staff, typically by removing the requirement for people to enter the hazardous environments and to increase productivity in high consequence and cluttered facilities. There has been significant effort in robotics research in this area, for example to make robotic systems able to survive in the presence of high levels of radiation and toxic substances, to operate at extreme pressures and temperatures, and to complete tasks safely in unstructured environments. Although the above mentioned domains vary in the requirements of the robotic systems that are deployed within them. For example, the robotic requirement for underwater applications will differ to those required for deployments in nuclear facilities or space applications, there are many cross-domain challenges that researchers in robotics in extreme environments are working on.
The goal of this Research Topic is to bring together excellent research that has been completed in the field of robotics in extreme environments. Contributions to the Research Topic are sought in all areas relevant to extreme robotics including, but not limited to:
• Advanced remote sensing and monitoring to measure physical properties and detect events or changes in extreme environments.
• Reconstruction of active scenes and meaningful datasets with visualisation from multimodal signals.
• Autonomous mobility and navigation technologies to explore unknown extreme environments.
• Self-healing and radiation-hardened systems.
• Human-robot interfaces for remotely operating robots in extreme environments, including AR/VR/MxR immersive technologies.
• Safe switching between levels of autonomy for human-in-the-loop tele-operation.
• Failure-safe, long-term, autonomous operation in space or underwater.
• Grasping technologies for validated grasping of sensitive materials.
• Novel designs and applications of soft and/or foldable robotic devices.
• Human factors for using robotic devices in extreme environments.
• Verification and validation of robotic systems in extreme environments.
This Research Topic encompasses a wide range of state-of-the-art technologies and multidisciplinary approaches in robotics and AI research based on different use-case scenarios in extreme environments. It is also expected that this will promote optimal integration of systems from different fields of science and technologies and provide insights into how robotics systems in extreme environments should to be designed.
Topic editor Rustam Stolkin is director of A.R.M Robotics Ltd. All other topic editors declare no competing interests with regards to the Research Topic subject.
Keywords: Robotics, Autonomous Systems, Remote Tele-Operation, Human-Robot Interaction, Sensing