The Autonomous Aquatic Inspection and Intervention (A2I2) project’s goal was to develop underwater autonomous vehicles to operate in hazardous environments, with an initial focus on waste storage ponds at nuclear sites.
A2I2 is an intelligent, non-tethered, underwater autonomous survey robot fitted with sonar technology to detect and avoid obstacles. During drop trials held at Forth’s Deep Recovery Facility at Maryport, Cumbria in March 2021, the robot successfully moved autonomously through the pond, avoided collisions, located items on the pond floor and relayed images which could be viewed and analysed in real-time on dry land.
Alongside meeting the robotics challenges, Forth has also developed an enabling Lilypad technology that provides launch and recovery, recharging and high bandwidth communications for the ROV.
Project: Adaptive Learning
Partners: Babcock International with Area 9 Lyceum and the Defence School of Electronic and Mechanical Engineering
Having identified that some military students were struggling to understand engineering principles due to a lack of foundation knowledge in maths, Babcock - in partnership with Area 9 Lyceum and the Defence School of Electronic and Mechanical Engineering - embarked on a project to address this using adaptive learning.
The team evolved an existing “one size fits all” approach to foundation delivery into a blended solution, where data and insights are used to provide a one to one experience that enables tutors to target interventions exactly where and when they were needed for both individual and groups.
The project has delivered the maths pilot to approximately 160 learners and has led to a reduction in overall failures, a 50 per cent reduction in time to proficiency, and increased engagement from learners.
Project: UCL-Nikon Collaboration on Next-Generation X-ray Imaging
The collaboration between the UCL’s Advanced X-Ray Imaging (AXIm) group and Nikon X-Tek Systems UK is targeted at making phase-based X-Ray Imaging (XRI) available through standard, lab-size machines, leading to economic and societal impact through multi-disciplinary applications.
Phase based XRI can lead to images with orders of magnitude better contrast than traditional X-Rays. However, until now, this type of imaging has only been achievable using specialised facilities like synchrotrons, which can be as large as a football stadium and cost in excess of £100m to build. The collaboration is underpinned by a key breakthrough: the development of a method that enables phase-based XRI with conventional x-ray sources, which is paving the way for implementing the technology in hospitals and factories.