Robust Automated Servicing of Passenger Trains-Fluids (RASPT-F)
RSSB and RRUKA
Researcher: Mark Atherton
Co-investigator: David Harrison
Co-investigator: Marco Ajovalasit
Researcher: Stuart Hill
The overall aim of the project is to investigate the technological feasibility for a Robotic or Autonomous System (RAS) to perform specific key individual fluid servicing tasks; specifically this project will take a human centred approach to develop a RAS concept.
This project aims to help set a foundation for RAS in rail industry, specifically when servicing the fluid ports on passenger train vehicles; introducing RAS aims to increase the number of trains that can travel as well as improve reliability of rail services.
Our long-term vision is to develop a human-centred autonomous system for completing the various externally-accessible ‘fluid’ service tasks on passenger trains that require checking, emptying and filling. Externally-accessible ‘fluid’ servicing tasks include checking and topping up diesel fuel, gearbox oil, engine coolant, windscreen wash, grey and potable water, wheel sand, plus the emptying of effluent. This system will be robust in the sense that it remains effective whilst coping with different rolling stock, different fluid functions and access locations, as well as resilient to adverse weather conditions. The system envisaged will be referred to as Robust Automated Servicing of Passenger Trains – Fluids (RASPT-F) and will primarily be located track-side. It will achieve considerable commercial benefits in terms of reducing train operating costs and reliability, improving servicing safety and freeing depot resources to focus on other maintenance tasks. A further benefit is that RASPT-F will allow specific fluid usage per vehicle to be tracked thus enabling unusual patterns, e.g. engine health (via oil & coolant usage) to be tracked.