Dexterous Manipulators for ESS

The manipulators are two TELBOT® robotic arms for the Active Cells

Basic information on the manipulators


2x 50 kg

Arm reach

2380 mm from shoulder joint

Degrees of Freedom

6 robot axis + gripper


2x haptic manipulator arms

Special features

  • force feedback
  • high dexterity
  • installation on a telescopic mast
  • robotics function
  • teach and repeat control

Accumulated radiation dose

1 MGy

YouTube: Dexterous Manipulators with two TELBOT®

Project Description

In 2020, Wälischmiller Engineering has been awarded a contract for the delivery of two dexterous manipulators for the ESS Robotic Handling System in the north west of Lund (Sweden).

The European Spallation Source (ESS) is one of the world’s largest scientific and technology infrastructure projects being constructed today. It is funded by the ESS European Research Infrastructure Consortium to fulfil an international requirement for a high-energy neutron source for scientific and engineering research. The ESS will include a particle accelerator, target station, experimental halls and office facilities. It will also include a waste processing plant known as the Active Cells.

The Remote Handling System in the Active Cells is crucial to the success of ESS. The Active Cells Facility (ACF) performs remote handling, disassembly, and storage of components that are taken out of the monolith after reaching the end of their lifetime.

In reason of the high radiation dose and contamination, reduction and handling must be done fully remote. ESS qualifies itself the Active Cells as a mission critical facility.

Technical Solution

The solution developed by Wälischmiller Engineering for the Remote Handling System in the Active Cells is a combination of two TELBOT® robotic arms. The solution has already been employed for several projects, among other in the late 1990s for the decommissioning of the NPP Rheinsberg and Greifswald in north of Germany. The ESS double arm system provides high degrees of dexterity and instantaneous force feedback.

The operator performs tasks with the haptic input manipulators, which the TELBOT® arms replicate exactly. The real time and high accuracy copying of the motions between input manipulators and TELBOT® arms are a real mental relief for the operator. The physical relief is possible due to the weight compensation of the tools held in the arms. Thus, the work of the operator is easier and safer. The operator will work in the secure area of a control room with the haptic input manipulators and a visualisation system. The dexterous system will make possible a wide range of operations inside the Active Cells, as for example turning in and out screws, coupling connectors, wrapping cables, or collecting samples.


The system will be employed at ESS in the Active Cells; however, several purposes are possible:

  • manipulator in sort and segregation facilities
  • remote-handling operations in hot cells
  • research and development
  • decommissioning projects in high radiation environment


  • all advantages from the TELBOT® series
  • sealed arm and joint bodies ensure maximum radiation resistance
  • easy operation due to infinitely rotatable joints
  • force feedback
  • built-in collision avoidance to avoid damage
  • control outside from the radioactive area to protect people
  • lifelong: maximum resistance against radiation
  • state-of-the-art system with the approved Wälischmiller experience
  • worldwide Wälischmiller Engineering service

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Contact person

Jan Hedtstück

Jan Hedtstück

Remote Handling Systems