Hot Robotics Facility

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PIs: Prof Tom Scott; Dr Rob Buckingham
The National Nuclear User Facility for Hot Robotics (NNUF-HR) is an EPSRC funded facility to support UK academia and industry to deliver ground-breaking, impactful research in robotics and artificial intelligence for application in extreme and challenging nuclear environments.

To hire the equipment and use the facilities, please view the range and book via the website:

         Credit: South West Nuclear Hub

Partners and facilities

The facility is arranged across three regional nodes with four research partners.

NNUF Hot Robotics facility map

© University of Bristol


UKAEA - RACE Facility


Credit: UKAEA 

Remote Applications in Challenging Environments, Oxfordshire

RACE forms the primary NNUF-HR hub where a large array of robots and mock-ups are housed. Additional functionality is provided through 'hot' test capabilities and portable solutions. 

Collaboration with academia and industry is facilitated by RACE's proximity to Harwell, AWE and a multitude of academic institutions.



University of Bristol

Fenswood Farm

© University of Bristol

Fenswood Facility, North Somerset

The University of Bristol's facility will provide substantial space for developing mobile robotic applications as enhanced tools for environmental field surveying.

Its main capabilities will focus on UAVs and mobile ground vehicles and it offers 245 acres of space for test deployments. 


University of Manchester

Dalton Cumbrian Facility

© University of Manchester

Dalton Cumbrian Facility

Located at the centre of the UK’s nuclear industry in West Cumbria, this facility provides mock-ups and robotic equipment to enable researchers to address nuclear decommissioning challenges.

Specific capabilities include a pond equipped with an underwater position system, robotic manipulators and a variety of mobile robots.

National Nuclear Laboratory

National Nuclear Laboratory

© National Nuclear Laboratory

Workington Facility, Cumbria

NNL’s facility comprises of equipment and flexible floorspace to develop, test, and demonstrate robotic solutions for the nuclear industry.

The research test rigs available at the NNL Workington Laboratory will be on an industrial scale, acting as a link between low TRL robotics research and technology progression to TRL 9.  (For more information, please see the NNL page on this website).

Hot Robotics Facility availability

All the facilities are open.

To hire equipment and test spaces, please visit our website:

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11th round of NNUF funded user access scheme

The Hot Robotics Facility participated in the 11th NNUF access scheme call, for which applications closed on 28th February 2023. In most cases this call covers access commencing in the period April – June 2023 (and this is true for the Hot Robotics Facilities at RACE, Manchester and Bristol). However to allow time for any security clearance that might be required to access NNL’s Hot Robotics Facility, experimental time at NNL's premises which is awarded under the 11th call can commence any time between April and September 2023.



NNUF funded user access scheme for Hot Robotics

As a first step, please email the relevant Hot Robotics Facility for a discussion about the practical feasibility of your proposed research project:

University of Bristol:
University of Manchester:

Then, you will need to complete a simple NNUF application form. When doing so, please upload the email exchange between you and the facility's technician confirming the feasibility of your proposed research and the finalised costs.

Please see the access page of this website for more detail about the NNUF funded user access scheme.

Text © National Nuclear User Facility for Hot Robotics (all images within composite banner image © South West Nuclear Hub – University of Bristol).