Public Sector Network Tender Alert


Request for Information (RFI) Robotics for Rail

Network Rail has identified robotics as a potential avenue to improve the safety and efficiency of maintenance work. Personnel safety can be improved through reducing direct exposure to hazardous work by a robotic application, for example by automation of repetitive lifting activities. Additional benefits may include, improved frequency and coverage of maintenance inspections through the creation of autonomous or semi-autonomous tools. A longer-term aspiration is to develop a systems with the capability to conduct various sensing and maintenance tasks completely autonomously, however it is recognised that such a programme will take a long time to deliver. The purpose of the current market engagement is to improve the awareness of market capabilities, such that any subsequent development project and trials can be conducted at pace. Network Rail aims to engage in these trials shortly after the analysis of this RFI. The aim of these trials would be to enable Network Rail to accelerate their capability and learning in this area and enable rapid tests and feedback from end users, such that benefits can be demonstrated through the delivery of incremental functionality. Network Rail have currently prioritised three use cases, in order to drive the development of incremental functionality and demonstration of the benefits of robotic technology. The three identified use cases are: 1. Robotic Assistance for Tubular Stretcher Bars 2. Automated Inspection 3. Robotic Assistance for MMT Wet Bed Treatment The programme will work alongside the system's end users to incrementally deliver value and enable rapid feedback to the product's development and management. Awareness of the longer-term goal, as well as programmes of work such as In2Track2 and In2Smart2 should help inform the design of the system and the requirements that will need to be requested from the market. We will be holding an industry webinar on 3rd August 2020. You can find out more information and register at link which will be published in the Clarification Log Q&A's No 1.


Raj Ragiwala
3rd Floor The Pinnacle
170 Midsummer Boulevard
Milton Keynes
+44 1908359999

Contract value: 1

Published: 24 Jul 2020, Receipt by: 2 Nov 2020