Maryland Robotics Center Seminar: State Estimation for ROV-Based Reactor Inspection

Friday, February 14, 2020
3:00 p.m.
3137 Brendan Iribe Center
Lena Johnson
301 405 8870

Maryland Robotics Center Seminar

State Estimation and Localization for ROV-Based Reactor Pressure Vessel Inspection Using a Pan-Tilt-Zoom Camera

Timothy E. Lee

PHD in Robotics, Candidate

The Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University

Advisor: Prof. Oliver Kroemer


Nuclear reactors require periodic maintenance and inspection to ensure safe operations, and automation of inspection tasks through robotics can minimize the duration of reactor inspection outages in a safe and cost-effective manner. State-of-the-art inspection technologies include the use of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), which are teleoperated, submersible robots. Realizing autonomous, ROV-based inspections of nuclear reactors requires the capability of ROV localization --- autonomously estimating the robot's location within the reactor.

In this systems talk, a vision-based state estimation framework will be presented that enables ROV localization within a nuclear reactor. The cornerstone of the framework is an extended Kalman filter (EKF). The primary sensing modality is a pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera that is mounted externally to the ROV, which is used to detect reactor points and lines along with ROV fiducial markers. Subscale and platform experiments will be presented that quantify the accuracy and uncertainty of localization. The talk will conclude with implications of the work that open new avenues for autonomous reactor inspection, including building rich, dense reconstructions of the reactor core for high-fidelity visual review.

This work was conducted while the presenter was a M.S. in Robotics student at Carnegie Mellon University under the guidance of Prof. Nathan Michael.

About the Robotics Student Seminars

The Robotics Student Seminars at the University of Maryland College Park are a student-run series of talks given by current robotics students.

The purpose of these talks is to:

  • Encourage interaction between Robotics students from different subfields;
  • Provide an opportunity for Robotics students to be aware of and possibly get involved in the research their peers are conducting;
  • Provide an opportunity for Robotics students to receive feedback on their current research;
  • Provide speaking opportunities for Robotics students.

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