This project centers on improving surface treatment in a confined space, while focusing on modular software for future standalone applications.


This project centers on the development of a robotic system for surface treatment in a confined space. Once fully developed, ARM Members will be able to leverage the software modules to enhance existing robotic systems with advanced manipulation capabilities. The modularity of the delivered software will enable future derivatives such as standalone visual inspection, generic surface treatments, advanced surface treatment, 3D mapping in confined spaces, and more. 


Develop a robotic system for surface treatment in confined spaces.

Technical Approach

This project will leverage a modular, long-reach and compliant robotic manipulator that NREC developed for Airbus while developing a stabilization module and end effectors. Success of the final project will focus on the following objectives:

  • Assess effect of perception feedback on compensating real-world error sources
  • Assess ability to control the forces when interacting with the environment and its effect in successful surface treatment
  • Demonstrate that developed software can inspect a mock-up fuel tank successfully, identifying sources of contamination
  • Demonstrate that a developed system enables a lightweight robot arm to remove contamination through forceful surface treatment in a mock-up fuel tank


Airbus, Harmonic Drive